Schlesinger v. Wisconsin
270 U.S. 230 (1926)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Schlesinger v. Wisconsin, 270 U.S. 230 (1926)

Schlesinger v. Wisconsin

No. 146

Argued January 18, 1926

Decided March 1, 1926

270 U.S. 230

Syllabus

1. A conclusive statutory presumption that all gifts of a material part of a decedent's estate made by him within six years of his death were made in contemplation of death, whereby they become subjected, without regard to his actual intent in making the gifts, to graduated inheritance taxes, creates an arbitrary classification and conflicts with the Fourteenth Amendment. P. 270 U. S. 239.

2. Such arbitrary classification, and consequent taxation, cannot be sustained upon the ground that legislative discretion found them necessary in order to prevent evasion of inheritance taxes. P. 270 U. S. 240.

3. The state is forbidden to deny due process of law, or the equal protection of the laws, for any purpose whatever, and a forbidden tax cannot be enforced in order to facilitate the collection of one properly laid. Id.

184 Wisc. 1 reversed.

Error to a judgment of the Supreme Court of Wisconsin sustaining an inheritance tax.

Page 270 U. S. 236

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