Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298, 4 (1992)

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Cite as: 504 U. S. 298 (1992)

Opinion of the Court

Justice Stevens delivered the opinion of the Court.

This case, like National Bellas Hess, Inc. v. Department of Revenue of Ill., 386 U. S. 753 (1967), involves a State's attempt to require an out-of-state mail-order house that has neither outlets nor sales representatives in the State to collect and pay a use tax on goods purchased for use within the State. In Bellas Hess we held that a similar Illinois statute violated the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and created an unconstitutional burden on interstate commerce. In particular, we ruled that a "seller whose only connection with customers in the State is by common carrier or the United States mail" lacked the requisite minimum contacts with the State. Id., at 758.

In this case, the Supreme Court of North Dakota declined to follow Bellas Hess because "the tremendous social, economic, commercial, and legal innovations" of the past quarter-century have rendered its holding "obsole[te]." 470 N. W. 2d 203, 208 (1991). Having granted certiorari, 502 U. S. 808, we must either reverse the State Supreme Court

Abrams, Attorney General of New York, Lee Fisher, Attorney General of Ohio, Susan B. Loving, Attorney General of Oklahoma, Ernest D. Preate, Jr., Attorney General of Pennsylvania, T. Travis Medlock, Attorney General of South Carolina, Dan Morales, Attorney General of Texas, Paul Van Dam, Attorney General of Utah, Jeffrey L. Amestoy, Attorney General of Vermont, Mary Sue Terry, Attorney General of Virginia, Ken Eikenberry, Attorney General of Washington, Mario J. Palumbo, Attorney General of West Virginia, and John Payton; for the State of New Jersey by Robert J. Del Tufo, Attorney General, Sarah T. Darrow, Deputy Attorney General, Joseph L. Wannotti, Assistant Attorney General, Richard G. Taranto, and Joel I. Klein; for the State of New Mexico by Tom Udall, Attorney General, and Frank D. Katz, Special Assistant Attorney General; for the City of New York by O. Peter Sherwood, Edward F. X. Hart, and Stanley Buchsbaum; for the International Council of Shopping Centers, Inc., et al. by Charles Rothfeld; for the Multistate Tax Commission by James F. Flug and Martin Lobel; for the National Governors' Association et al. by Richard Ruda; and for the Tax Policy Research Project by Rita Marie Cain.


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