Brett Stuff
Judging the Judges
Term Year: 2018

James Dawson, et ux, Petitioners v. Dale W. Steager, West Virginia State Tax Commissioner

Summary Analysis

DATE: 2019-02-20
DOCKET: 17-419
NAME: James Dawson, et ux, Petitioners v. Dale W. Steager, West Virginia State Tax Commissioner

   AUTHOR: Gorsuch
   JOINING: Roberts, Thomas, Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, Sotomayor, Kagan, Kavanaugh
   GOOD: No

Case Commentary

This case (likely) makes it easier to understand what I am doing in these write-ups versus what The Supreme Court is doing when it decides a case.

West Virginia taxes certain State Pensions differently from similar Federal Pensions. And since this is illegal (in theory, anyway), The Supreme Court ruled accordingly.
{Ironically, there is a very easy work around. And that is for West Virginia to tax All Pensions equally, but increase the amount it pays out in State Pensions.}
But then, I'm not much convinced Differential Taxation (of the sort noted) is illegal, as The Supreme Court sort of glossed over the details. If I had to guess, it's probably more of a practical matter; in that, The Fed is bigger (and much more powerful) than any one State, so don't be messing with us.

But then, hey. I'm sure The Supreme Court had their reasons. And if a persons wants to know that those are, they should read the Slip.

For me, the case breaks down a bit differently and as follows.

Let us say that there are three groups of Citizens in the Grand Old US of A (or in any one State):
The Supreme Court has ruled that States may discriminate against Everyone Else, so long that whenever they do so, they do not lump Federal Employees in with this otherwise disadvantaged class.

Got it?

It's OK to treat State Workers (or in this case, State Pension Benefits) differently from Private Workers (by taxing Private Pensions at a higher rate than State Pensions), but only if Federal Employees (with their corresponding Federal Pensions) are given the same advantages (i.e. the same preferential tax rate).

And this goes against pretty much everything I stand for.

I believe EVERYONE should be treated EQUALLY Under the Law ALL OF THE TIME.

No Exceptions!

Carve Outs are Social Rot.

Special Treatment is Favouritism is Inequality Under the Law is Corruption is Everything Bad and Rotten in Society.

It's not a hard concept to grasp. But apparently, it's astonishingly difficult to implement, because it relies on the impartiality of those in power and counting on them not to give themselves a better deal.

F! Them!

F! Your Inequalities!

In other news, one of my chief rants these days has to do with Honour. I refuse to give Honour (whatever that means) to Law Enforcement Personnel. In this Supreme Court Case, Retired Law Enforcement Personnel were give tax breaks that were not available to the rest of society. They were given Cash Money. And as long as you are accepting Cash Money (in lieu), you are not getting any Honour (not the slightest drop) out of me.
{Though, I do Respect a loaded weapon and the threat of jail time.}
So congratulations, you were employed to use a gun to enforce laws that gave you preferential treatment over the rest of society.

I am humbled by your show of Honour.

Judging the Judges

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Hey, I'm not claiming to be due any Honour, myself.

After all, during my employ, I was paid Cash Money, just like everyone else.

© copyright 2019 Brett Paufler
A Personal Opinion/Editorial