Quill Corp. v. North Dakota, 504 U.S. 298, 9 (1992)

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Opinion of the Court

objections. Yet it may fall because of its burdening effect upon the commerce. And, although the two notions cannot always be separated, clarity of consideration and of decision would be promoted if the two issues are approached, where they are presented, at least tentatively as if they were separate and distinct, not intermingled ones." International Harvester Co. v. Department of Treasury, 322 U. S. 340, 353 (1944) (Rutledge, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part).

Heeding Justice Rutledge's counsel, we consider each constitutional limit in turn.


The Due Process Clause "requires some definite link, some minimum connection, between a state and the person, property or transaction it seeks to tax," Miller Brothers Co. v. Maryland, 347 U. S. 340, 344-345 (1954), and that the "income attributed to the State for tax purposes must be rationally related to 'values connected with the taxing State,' " Moorman Mfg. Co. v. Bair, 437 U. S. 267, 273 (1978) (citation omitted). Here, we are concerned primarily with the first of these requirements. Prior to Bellas Hess, we had held that that requirement was satisfied in a variety of circumstances involving use taxes. For example, the presence of sales personnel in the State 3 or the maintenance of local retail stores in the State 4 justified the exercise of that power because the seller's local activities were "plainly accorded the protection and services of the taxing State." Bellas Hess, 386 U. S., at 757. The furthest extension of that power was recognized in Scripto, Inc. v. Carson, 362 U. S. 207 (1960), in which the Court upheld a use tax despite the fact that all of the seller's in-state solicitation was performed by independent contractors. These cases all involved some sort of physical presence within the State, and in Bellas Hess

3 Felt & Tarrant Mfg. Co. v. Gallagher, 306 U. S. 62 (1939).

4 Nelson v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 312 U. S. 359 (1941).

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