In MCCULLOCH V. MARYLAND (1819) the Supreme Court had held unconstitutional a state tax on an instrumentality of the national government, and in Dobbins v. Commissioners (1842) the Court had forbidden a state to tax the salary of a federal officer. The Court had reasoned that a sovereign government must be immune from the taxes of another government to preserve its independence. Here the Court applied that doctrine reciprocally, holding that the United States had no constitutional power to tax the salary of a state judge. In GRAVES V. NEW YORK EX REL. O ' KEEFE (1939) the Court overruled both Dobbins and Collector, vitiating the DOCTRINE of reciprocal tax immunities.
LEONARD W. LEVY