Department of Revenue of Ky. v. Davis

Department of Revenue of Kentucky v. Davis
Supreme Court of the United States
Argued November 5, 2007
Decided May 19, 2008
Full case name Department of Revenue of Kentucky, et al. v. George W. Davis, et ux.
Docket nos. 06-666
Citations 553 U.S. 328 (more)
128 S. Ct. 1801; 170 L. Ed. 2d 685; 2008 U.S. LEXIS 4312; 76 U.S.L.W. 4288; 21 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 227
Prior history On Writ of Certiorari to the Court of Appeals of Kentucky.
Court membership
Case opinions
Plurality Souter (opinion of the Court except for Part III-B), joined by Stevens, Breyer; Roberts, Ginsburg (all but Part III-B); Scalia (all but Parts III-B and IV)
Concurrence Roberts
Concurrence Stevens
Concurrence Scalia
Concurrence Thomas
Dissent Kennedy, joined by Alito
Dissent Alito

Department of Revenue of Kentucky v. Davis, 553 U.S. 328 (2008), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court upheld a Kentucky law that provides a preferential tax break to Kentucky residents who invest in bonds issued by the state and its municipalities (municipal bonds). The Court held in a 7-2 vote that the State of Kentucky does not engage in unconstitutional discrimination against interstate commerce by exempting the interest on its bonds from residents’ taxable income while taxing the interest earned on the bonds of other states.[1]

The case has national implications because thirty-six (36) states have tax schemes similar to the one at issue in Kentucky.[2]


George and Catherine Davis sued the State of Kentucky under the legal theory that the State of Kentucky violated the Dormant Commerce Clause, a legal implication of the Commerce Clause, by providing a differential tax treatment to gains earned from investments in municipal bonds from Kentucky versus other states.[3]


External links

  • Slip opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court