MORGANTOWN \u2014 The U.S. Supreme court will hear a case being handled by a clinic at the WVU College of Law on Dec. 3, according to a press release from the college.\r\nWVU Law students in the U.S. Supreme Court Clinic have been preparing for Dawson v. Steager, a tax discrimination case, for 18 months. They conducted much of the required research, analysis and writing for the case under the leadership of Lawrence Rosenberg, a partner with Jones Day in Washington, D.C., and Anne Marie Lofaso, professor of law.\r\nRosenberg will argue the case before the Supreme Court, the release states. He and Lofaso founded the U.S. Supreme Court Clinic at WVU in 2011.\r\n\u201cThis is a truly transformative experience for the WVU law students who have worked on this case,\u201d Gregory Bowman, dean of the College of Law, said in the release. \u201cTheir work is critically important to a case that is going to be ruled on by the highest court in the land and will establish meaningful precedent. Only a handful of law schools in the country can provide this opportunity to their students.\u201d\r\nAccording to the college, at issue in Dawson v. Steager is whether the State of West Virginia can impose a heavier tax burden on federal retirees than it imposes on state retirees who performed the same job duties.\r\nJames and Elaine Dawson, clients of the WVU U.S. Supreme Court Clinic, believe the state must extend favorable tax treatment of state employees to similarly situated federal employees.\r\nWest Virginia argues that it can tax the benefits of federal and state retirees differently as long as it only favors a specific and small group of retirees.\r\nJames Dawson, a retired presidentially appointed U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of West Virginia, was enrolled exclusively in the Federal Employee Retirement System. He sought a state tax exemption for all of his retirement income, but was denied by the West Virginia Supreme Court.\r\nUnder West Virginia law, Dawson is entitled to exempt only a small portion of his FERS income from state tax. However, West Virginia allows most state law enforcement retirees to exempt all of their state benefits from state tax.\r\nAccording to the law clinic\u2019s argument, several U.S. Supreme Court decisions support Dawson, including Davis v. Michigan Department of Treasury (1989) and Jefferson County, Alabama v. Acker (1999).\r\nThe WVU Law students found three state appeals courts have struck down tax laws that discriminate against federal employees, but three state appeals courts also upheld such laws. Other state courts of last resort have ruled inconsistently on related laws.\r\nThe Supreme Court\u2019s ruling on Dawson v. Steager is expected by the end of June 2019.