In 1984, the year that Benson
claims to have completed his research into the ratification
of the 16th Amendment, Marvin D. Miller of Knox, Indiana,
filed a federal income tax return, upon which he wrote:
"New evidence, Certified and Documented, Shows the
16th Amendment was never legally passed. This means the
whole Form, The IRS and income tax Structure is Fraudulent
and Illegal, doesn't it? Please Advise!"
The Internal Revenue Service responded by assessing Miller
with a civil penalty of $500 for filing a "frivolous"
return within the meaning of 26 U.S.C. § 6702. Miller
filed a Complaint challenging this assessment and the constitutionality
of the Sixteenth Amendment in US District Court.
In his pro se Complaint, Miller alleged that the Sixteenth
Amendment is unconstitutional because it was illegally ratified.
According to the Court documents, Miller specifically relied
upon the book by William Benson and "Red" Beckman
entitled The Law That Never Was (1985). The government,
in turn, moved for summary judgment and requested attorneys'
fees and costs for defending against a frivolous suit.
On September 3, 1987, the district court granted the government's
motion, dismissed Miller's Complaint and sanctioned Miller
$1500 for pursuing a frivolous defense.
On December 1, 1987, an undaunted Miller filed a Notice of
Appeal. In this appeal, Miller argued that he brought his
claim in good faith and that the sanctions were excessive.
On February 8, 1989, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
published a per curiam Opinion in which they stated:
“As best we can surmise, Miller has followed
the advice of those associated with the "tax protester
movement." The leaders of this movement conduct seminars
across the country in which they attempt to convince taxpayers
that the sixteenth amendment and assorted enforcement provisions
of the tax code are unconstitutional.”
“The movement's manifesto, Benson and Beckman's
The Law That Never Was, is a collection of documents relating
to the ratification of the sixteenth amendment, and is intended
to be both a call to arms for the movement and "exhibit
A" in the trials of tax protesters who argue that the
sixteenth amendment was illegally ratified.”
“Benson and Beckman did not discover anything;
they rediscovered something that Secretary Knox considered
in 1913. The Solicitor of the Department of State drew up
a list of the errors in the instruments and--taking into
account both the triviality of the deviations and the treatment
of earlier amendments that had experienced more substantial
problems--advised the Secretary that he was authorized to
declare the amendment adopted. The Secretary did so. ...
[his] decision is now beyond review.”
“We find it hard to understand why the long and
unbroken line of cases upholding the constitutionality of
the sixteenth amendment generally, and those specifically
rejecting the argument advanced in The Law That Never
Was, have not persuaded Miller and his compatriots to
seek a more effective forum for airing their attack on the
federal income tax structure.”
In reviewing this exhibit, note that the cited quotes are
verbatim. It is undeniable that the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
was fully aware of William J. Benson, his book in general,
and the Sixteenth Amendment related issues raised in the book
in particular, nevertheless holding that the entire issue
is “beyond review.”
Furthermore, the Court also referenced the long and unbroken
line of cases rejecting Benson’s ratification argument.
In sum, the representations that the Court has never addressed
the issues raised in the Law That Never Was, and that
the government is afraid of these issues and knows they cannot
win in the face of Benson’s “Reliance Package,”
are well beyond merely disingenuous.
Rather than expect your Clients to accept your word for it,
you can let them read the Decision and Order for themselves.
welcome your comments,
questions and suggestions.