By exempting containers in international commerce from local ad valorem property taxes, the Japan Line Court's interpretation of the commerce clause gives foreign merchants an advantage over their domestic competitors. The Court, lacking alternative grounds for exempting foreign containers from the state tax, concluded that the commerce clause justifies such disparate treatment. Rather than adopting an interpretation of the commerce clause which is inconsistent with its purpose, the Court should have upheld the tax and left the difficult question of international tax policy to be resolved comprehensively in a more appropriate forum.
Laura T. Oles,
Constitutional Law—The Scope of the Commerce Clause in International Commerce—Japan Line, Ltd. v. County of Los Angeles, 441 U.S. 434 (1979),
55 Wash. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uw.edu/wlr/vol55/iss4/9