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LEWELLYN V. FRICK, 268 U. S. 238 (1925)

U.S. Supreme Court

Lewellyn v. Frick, 268 U.S. 238 (1925)

Lewellyn v. Frick

No. 681

Argued April 16, 1925

Decided May 11, 1925

268 U.S. 238


1. Acts of Congress are to be construed, if possible, so as to avoid grave doubts of their constitutionality. P. 268 U. S. 251.

2. The provisions of the Revenue Act of February 24, 1919, purporting to include policies insuring the life of a decedent in the

Page 268 U. S. 239

gross value of his estate as a basis for fixing the transfer tax thereon, though the policies be payable to beneficiaries other than the estate, and allowing the executor to recover from such beneficiaries their proportions of such tax and making them personally responsible therefor if not paid when due, are to be construed as inapplicable to transactions antedating the passage of the Act. P. 268 U. S. 251.

3. A declaration in an Act that a provision in it shall be retroactive helps the conclusion that the same provision in an earlier Act, lacking such declaration, was not retroactive. P. 268 U. S. 252.

298 F. 803 affirmed.

Error to a judgment recovered in the district court by the defendants in error in an action to recover the amount of taxes collected by duress.

Page 268 U. S. 249

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