Opinion for the Court, New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad Co. v. Frank, 314 U.S. 360 (Dec. 8, 1941)

Decision Date: January 23, 1970

Justice Jackson wrote the court opinion for this case in which New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad Co. protested the validity of a New York State statute, which imposed liability on constituent companies of any consolidated business group. The court affirmed the decision of the lower court and found that liability attached to New York, Chicago & St. Louis Railroad Co for bonds guaranteed by their constituent.

Opinion of the Court, Meilink v. Unemployment Commission, 314 U.S. 564 (Jan. 5, 1942)

Decision Date: January 23, 1970

Justice Jackson wrote the opinion of the court, affirming a ninth circuit decision that the California Unemployment commission could charge twelve per cent interest on charges from the date due without violating the bankruptcy act. As the interest was not charged as penalty for the bankruptcy, it was not "interest" as defined in the Bankruptcy Act, and not subject to the 6 percent limitation.

Opinion of the Court, Irving Trust Co. v. Day, 314 U.S. 556 (Jan. 5, 1942)

Decision Date: January 23, 1970

Justice Jackson wrote the opinion of the court finding New York State Estate Law to be consistent with the contract and due process provisions of the United States Constitution. The estate law permitted an individual to will things to someone, typically a spouse that had contracted away their right to an intestate share, without reinstating that right. Additionally the individual or their heir could choose to collect their gift without violating their own contract.

Dissenting opinion, Indianapolis v. Chase National Bank, 314 U.S. 63 (Nov. 10, 1941)

Decision Date: November 10, 1941

In this case, Chase Bank sued the city of Indianapolis under a deed of trust securing the issue of bonds. Through several transactions the city of Indianapolis had become responsible for paying the payments due on the bonds to Chase Bank. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme court found that the lease was not enforceable against the city. Justice Jackson dissented along with the chief justice, Justices Roberts and Justice Reed on the basis that the court improperly found jurisdiction for the case by combining claims in such a way as to be harmful to the claims of an interested party.

Opinion for the Court, District of Columbia v. Murphy, 314 U.S. 441 (Dec. 15, 1941)

Decision Date: December 15, 1941

Justice Jackson wrote the opinion for the court in this case which questioned what amounted to 'residing' in the District of Columbia for tax purposes. The court reversed the board of tax appeals’ finding of non taxability, but remanded the case remanded for further proceedings so that the tax board could decide. Without a fixed and definite intent to return to their former domiciles the people in this case were found to still be residents of the District of Columbia.

Concurring opinion, Duckworth v. Arkansas, 314 U.S. 390 (Dec. 15, 1941)

Decision Date: December 15, 1941

In this case Duckworth challenged the constitutionality of an Arkansas statute, which required a permit to transport liquor through the state for interfering with interstate commerce. The majority of the court upheld the statute because it merely regulated the transportation of liquor through the state, protecting the state’s interest in preventing unlawful distribution of liquor through reasonable means. Justice Jackson wrote a concurring opinion, believing that the statute was constitutional because the provision applied only to the transportation of liquor. Jackson felt that drafting the decision around interstate commerce would increase the federal government’s power in regulating interstate commerce unnecessarily.

Concurring opinion, Edwards v. California, 314 U.S. 160 (Nov. 24, 1941)

Decision Date: December 24, 1941

This landmark case helped to establish the 'right' to interstate migration. Plaintiff Edwards brought suit to challenge the constitutionality of a California which criminalized knowingly bringing an indigent (impoverished) non-resident person into the state of California. The court found this to be an unconstitutional barrier to interstate commerce and struck the statute down as unconstitutional.

Justice Jackson wrote a concurring opinion, because even though he agreed with the outcome of the ruling, he disagreed with the reasoning behind it. Jackson did not believe that the law was unconstitutional on the basis that it interfered with interstate commerce, but because it violated the privileges and immunities clause of the fourteenth amendment. He noted in his concurring opinion that to strike the statute down on the basis of commerce would result in either the “distorting of commercial law or in denaturing human rights.”

Concurring opinion, Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535 (June 1, 1942)

Decision Date: June 1, 1942

This case was brought against the state of Oklahoma by a convicted Felon who faced sterilization under an Oklahoma Statute. The court reversed the order of sterilization stating that the sterilization was a violation of the man’s fourteenth amendment right to equal protection. Justice Jackson wrote a concurring opinion, which emphasized the constitutional gravity of the assumptions made by the statute. Namely, that the law had a eugenic purpose for which there was no scientific background. He also cautioned against using people, even criminals, for ‘biological experiments’ in order to prevent the birth of future criminals.

Opinion of the Court, Merion Country Club v. United States, 315 U.S. 42 (Jan. 12, 1942)

Decision Date: December 12, 1942

Justice Jackson wrote the opinion of the court in this case. Merion Country Club sought to recover taxes from the US government for themselves and on behalf of their members. Arguing that the annual payments made to the club were not ‘dues’ or ‘membership fees’ and therefore not taxable under the code. The decision stated that the arrangement was that of a membership where the members can golf an unlimited amount for their annual fee, and therefore subject to taxation, affirming the ruling of the third circuit.

Opinion of the Court, White v. Winchester Country Club, 315 U.S. 32 (Jan. 12, 1942)

Decision Date: December 12, 1942

Justice Jackson wrote the opinion for the court in this case as well, as this was a companion case to Merion Country club. The first circuit decided differently on this case, which is factually quite similar to Merion. As in Merion, the country club was suing the United States on behalf of its membership for taxing payments that they did not consider ‘dues’ or ‘membership fees’. Jackson, wrote the opinion for the court, and reversed the decision of the first circuit clarifying that yearly fees to use the club and the golf course were in fact taxable membership fees or dues according to the tax code.