Scalia Dissents On “Stay-At-Home” Moms

March 25th, 2013

I am teaching marital property in class, and this 2002 Scalia dissent in United States v. Craft seems particularly apt for this week. It involved whether the IRS could attach property held in tenancy by the entirety:

 I write separately to observe that the Court nullifies (insofar as federal taxes are concerned, at least) a form of property ownership that was of particular benefit to the stay-at-home spouse or mother. She is overwhelmingly likely to be the survivor that obtains title to the unencumbered property; and she (as opposed to her business-world husband) is overwhelmingly unlikely to be the source of the individual indebtedness against which a tenancy by the entirety protects. It is regrettable that the Court has eliminated a large part of this traditional protection retained by many States.