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Wall Street May Seek To Sway Congress By Hiring Top Lawyer

Publication Date: 
January 19, 2010
Business Week
Ian Katz

Professor Joseph Bankman, an expert in taxation law, is quoted in this article on President Obama's plan to tax banks:

Wall Street’s decision to hire a Supreme Court lawyer to study President Obama’s plan to tax banks may be aimed more at swaying lawmakers than winning a lawsuit, some constitutional experts said.

Challenging the Obama plan in court “would be a fool’s errand for the banking industry,” said Bruce Fein, a Washington-based legal scholar and former associate deputy attorney general in the Reagan administration. “But they might get Congress nervous, so maybe the levy wouldn’t be as heavy.”


Few such actions are tried, said Joseph Bankman, a professor at Stanford Law School in Stanford, California. In 2002, a federal appeals court ruled that Consolidated Edison, owner of New York City’s biggest utility, couldn’t be singled out for punishment by a law forbidding it to cover costs.


“It’s a long shot,” Bankman said. “But a lot of people bring long shots if a lot of money is at stake.”