[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's states brief, a New Jersey court of appeals ruled [PDF text] today that out-of-state companies with no physical presence in the state may be taxed on sales of their goods. State Treasurer [state treasury website] John McCormac said the ruling "affirms our long-standing interpretation of tax responsibility for companies doing business in New Jersey and obligated to pay their fair share to the state government." The ruling came in a dispute on whether Delaware-based Lanco Inc., which licenses Lane Bryant to sell trademarked items in its clothing stores, was obligated to file a return under New Jersey's corporate business code. The dollar value of the ruling has not been estimated. AP has more.
In other state legal news ...
- Texas Governor Rick Perry today announced [Governor's press release] the appointment of Don Willet to the Texas Supreme Court [official website]. Willet helped President George Bush establish faith-based programs in Texas and Washington, and in 2002 he was appointed by Bush as deputy US assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Policy. He currently serves as the top advisor to the Texas Attorney General. Willet is Governor Perry's 5th appointment to the Supreme Court. Texas's Houston Chronicle has local coverage.
- A Minnesota court of appeals has ruled [PDF text] that a gay pastor cannot sue for discrimination after he was forced to resign from this teaching position, under the Minnesota Human Rights Act [PDF text] because religious organizations are exempt when hiring employees for faith-based assignments. The court ruled that to intervene between the pastor and the Christian school he formerly taught at would be a "prohibited relationship between church and state." The pastor argued that he should be able to continue his employment because part of his work was secular in nature. Minnesota's Pioneer Press has local coverage.
- A proposed amendment to the Florida constitution to ban same-sex marriage is nearing the 61,113 signatures required for review by the state Supreme Court. The proposed amendment defines marriage as a union between a man and woman and states that "no other legal union that is treated as marriage ... shall be valid or recognized." Nadine Smith, executive director of Equality Florida [website], said the possible amendment would block civil unions and threaten domestic partnership laws. Florida4marriage.org [website] needs 471 more signatures by February 1, 2006 to have the proposal reviewed. The New York Blade has more.