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Supreme Court takes ship tax, bankruptcy cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] granted certiorari [order list, PDF] Friday in two cases. In Polar Tankers v. City of Valdez [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the Court will consider whether a municipal tax that falls exclusively on large vessels in the city’s harbor violates the Tonnage Clause (Art. 1 § 10 cl. 3), Commerce Clause (Art. 1 § 8 cl. 3), or the 14th Amendment Due Process Clause of the US Constitution [text]. The city of Valdez, Alaska, imposes a tax on oil tankers and other large vessels using its port to pick up and deliver crude oil. The Alaska Supreme Court upheld [opinion, PDF] the tax.

In the the consolidated cases of Travelers Indemnity v. Bailey [docket; cert. petition, PDF] and Common Law Settlement Counsel v. Bailey [docket; cert. petition, PDF], the Court will consider whether a bankruptcy court has jurisdiction to approve a third-party injunction provision in a plan of reorganization or related confirmation order. These cases arise from the bankruptcy of asbestos manufacturer Johns-Manville Corp. [corporate website]. The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held [opinion, PDF] that a bankruptcy court lacked that jurisdiction.

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