A large army base is located in Morgan County, North Carolina.  The children of soldiers who live on-base typically attend schools funded and operated by the federal government.  However, soldiers who reside off-base have a total of 1000 children who attend public schools in Morgan County.  Most of those children are not permanent residents of North Carolina, but only temporary residents who live in Morgan County because one or both of their parents are stationed there.

The Morgan County School District recently enacted a regulation that requires that children who are out-of-state residents, but who are living in Morgan County, must pay tuition to attend the Morgan County public schools.  The tuition charge is $2000 per year.  The School District argues that this amount is the uncompensated amount of the extra burden on the school district due to the presence of this large number of nonresident children.  The school district receives no federal impact aid at the present time.  Its schools are funded by a combination of state, federal and local money.

A lawsuit has been filed arguing that the District’s regulation is preempted by the Supremacy Clause because of conflict with a general policy embodied in the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940, 50 U.S.C. App. § 574(1), of relieving military personnel from double state taxation.

The Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 was enacted "to provide for, strengthen, and expedite the national defense" by suspending certain civil liabilities of military personnel "in order to enable such persons to devote their entire energy to the defense needs of the Nation."  To this end, § 514 of the Act provides that the residence or domicile of a person is not affected by absence from a state in compliance with military or naval orders, and immunizes military personnel from taxation of income or personal property where such persons are not residents or domiciliaries.

In their suit, plaintiffs contend that this statute embodies a general policy of relieving military personnel from multiple state taxation, and that because the District's tuition requirement would result in double taxation to support public schools, it must be preempted under the Supremacy Clause of the federal Constitution.  U.S. Const., art. VI, cl. 2.

Will the plaintiffs succeed in their lawsuit?  You might want to consult the review material on Preemption in considering this question.