Armour & Co. v. Virginia

In Armour & Co. v. Virginia, 246 U.S. 1 (1918), the statute under attack laid a tax on merchants doing business in the State based on the amount of their purchases during the license period, including as purchases all goods and merchandise manufactured by the licensee and sold or offered for sale in the State. It excluded from its operation domestic manufacturers, taxed on capital, who offered for sale at the place of manufacture goods and merchandise manufactured by them. It applied alike to citizens and residents of Virginia and noncitizens and nonresidents who manufactured in Virginia. The state supreme court held that it applied to Armour & Co., who manufactured part of their products without the State and sold them within it. The Supreme Court said p. 6: "In the first place, we are of opinion that the distinction upon which the classification in the statute rests between a manufacturer selling goods by him made at their place of manufacture and one engaged as a merchant in whole or in part in selling goods of his manufacture at a place of business other than where they were made is so obvious as to require nothing but a mere statement of the two classes. All question concerning the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment may therefore be put out of view."