The Judicial Public Policy Doctrine in Tax Litigation

This Note evaluates the merits of Revenue Ruling 74-323. First, it asserts that, while not arbitrary, the Service’s resolution of the preemption issue was not mandated by the language of amended section 162 or by the relevant legislative history. Second, it maintains that it is both appropriate and procedurally feasible to apply the judicial public policy doctrine to violations of federal civil rights laws that impose no fine, imprisonment, loss of license, or other criminal penalty. The denial of a deduction in this situation would extend the public policy doctrine beyond both section 162(c)(2) and the judicial doctrine as it has been developed to date. This Note concludes that on the basis of precedent and policy the doctrine should be so extended.