Your Federal Government In Action was Fwd: Judge bans a book

Jeff Bone jbone at
Fri Apr 4 10:52:09 PST 2003

Free speech... as long as it doesn't interfere w/ tax collection.


Begin forwarded message:

> From: Jeff Daiell <jeffdaiell at>
> Date: Fri Apr 4, 2003  09:14:17 US/Central
> To: LPTnew <lptexas at>, HCLPgroup <hclp at>
> Cc: Debbie Russell <caucusgame at>, Marie Angell HCLP 
> <mangell at>, Elizabeth McLane <emclane at>, Christopher 
> Daiell <dantari_cd at>, Colleen Rachel Daiell 
> <percephonecd at>, Kelly Daiell <krdangel at>
> Subject: Judge bans a book
> Reply-To: lptexas at
>> Sunday, March 30, 2003
>> Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal
>> COLUMN: Vin Suprynowicz
>> The judge banned a book he never read
>> Tax author, radio host and IRS gadfly Irwin Schiff
>> argues his reading
>> of statutes and Supreme Court decisions such as
>> Brushaber v. Union
>> Pacific R.R. Co. (240 US 1, 1916) have convinced him
>> that paying income
>> taxes on domestic wages is voluntary for most
>> Americans.
>> Why? Because if such a tax were made mandatory it
>> would be an
>> unconstitutional direct tax as currently enforced,
>> under Article I of
>> the Constitution, Sections 2 and 9, which still
>> stipulate that direct
>> taxes must be apportioned among the states by
>> population. (Those
>> sections were unaffected by the 16th Amendment, as
>> the high court found
>> in the aforementioned Brushaber case, as well as in
>> Stanton v. Baltic
>> Mining, [1916], and Cook v. Tait, 265 U.S. 47
>> [1924].)
>> Whether you agree with him or not, in a free country
>> like ours, surely
>> Schiff is free to shout what he believes from the
>> rooftops ... right?
>> Apparently not.
>> In federal court in Las Vegas on March 19, U.S.
>> District Senior Judge
>> Lloyd George ordered Schiff to stop giving lectures,
>> and to stop
>> selling his latest book: "The Federal Mafia: How the
>> Government
>> Illegally Imposes and Unlawfully Collects Income
>> Taxes."
>> "If they can ban me from speaking ... what good is
>> freedom of speech?"
>> Schiff asks. "I've never feared criminal
>> prosecution, because I'd get
>> to cross-examine their claims while they were under
>> oath. It never
>> dawned on me that they could ever ban a book ...
>> especially when they
>> can't present, subject to cross-examination, what in
>> my book is wrong."
>> Department of Justice trial attorney Evan Davis told
>> the court Schiff
>> has been "running one of the largest tax scams in
>> U.S. history,"
>> encouraging people to file tax returns on which they
>> assert they have
>> no income subject to the tax. Davis asserted this
>> "is designed to clog
>> the federal court system and inundate the Internal
>> Revenue Service."
>> "Lloyd George banned a book he never read," Schiff
>> argues. "The
>> government was claiming this stuff I say is
>> frivolous, that `He tells
>> people to break the law.' The judge asked `What book
>> does that?' They
>> said, 'The Federal Mafia.' He said he'd like to see
>> the book. On the
>> counsel table I had all the books I sell, plus five
>> huge volumes of the
>> regulations that execute the Internal Revenue Code,
>> so I gave him the
>> book, which to my knowledge is the first time he
>> ever saw the book.
>> "There's a recess, he goes into chambers, he comes
>> back within 10
>> minutes and basically bans the book. All he did was
>> take the
>> government's representations at face value. ... How
>> can they ban a book
>> without allowing me to cross-examine anyone? Here we
>> are bringing
>> democracy to Iraq and we can ban a book right here
>> at home?"
>> Judge George did not return phone messages last
>> week, asking whether in
>> fact he had read "The Federal Mafia" before he
>> banned it. But local
>> attorney Richard Salas, who represented Schiff
>> employee and
>> co-defendant Larry Cohen in the March 19 appearance
>> (Mr. Cohen has
>> since dismissed his attorney, apparently preferring
>> to represent
>> himself) agrees: "They seem to proceed from the
>> notion that everyone
>> knows what Schiff says is outrageous, so it must be
>> false."
>> Schiff attorney Noel Spaid of San Diego also agrees:
>> "He didn't know
>> the book at all, and I consider the injunction to be
>> in violation of
>> the First Amendment. ... It's vague and ambiguous;
>> it doesn't specify
>> what can and can't be done; it enjoins him from
>> making statements
>> 'against Internal Revenue law.' What does that mean?
>> Search warrants
>> have been quashed for vagueness that were more
>> specific than that. ...
>> We're going to argue that it's overly broad.
>> "This judge summarily decided Irwin's positions are
>> frivolous; he made
>> no in-depth study or analysis; he offered no sound,
>> reasoned decision
>> as to why Irwin's positions are wrong or frivolous."
>> "This is the first time I know of in the history of
>> this country that a
>> book has been banned where I'm not telling how to
>> build a bomb; it's
>> not pornographic." Schiff says.
>> "A restraining order is an extraordinary measure;
>> it's designed for
>> cases where someone is in imminent danger. It's not
>> as though I'm
>> brewing up explosives. The government said I cost
>> them $54 million
>> dollars over the past three years. So what was I
>> going to cost them
>> over the next three weeks? What was the big rush?
>> Isn't the First
>> Amendment more important?
>> "The United States government was established to
>> protect rights,"
>> Schiff insists, "not to raise revenue. But now the
>> courts see their
>> first duty being to protect the raising of revenue.
>> ... The government
>> wants to ban me not because what I say is frivolous
>> but because it's
>> correct; anyone can verify it."
>> Federal statutes allow criminal prosecution of
>> anyone who advises
>> others to break the law, Schiff contends. "But they
>> haven't filed any
>> criminal charges. Why not? Because then we'd be in
>> criminal court,
>> where I'd get to cross-examine them under oath. ..."
>> Salas agrees.
>> "When you look at it, it's really a lot easier for
>> the government to do
>> it this way" -- through a civil action claiming
>> damages in the form of
>> lost tax revenues from those who have read Schiff's
>> book -- Salas says.
>> If the government chose the criminal route, "You can
>> either prosecute
>> someone for failing to file -- but they can't do
>> that because the zero
>> return is a return -- or you can charge fraudulent
>> deductions. But then
>> Mr. Schiff could get the forum he wants, he could
>> probably win
>> recognition as an expert witness, at which point he
>> could take the
>> stand to explain why he thinks people should be able
>> to file a zero
>> return."
>> Next week: Banning a book because it challenges
>> "what everyone knows."
>> Vin Suprynowicz, assistant editorial page editor of
>> the Review-Journal,
>> is author of the books "Send in the Waco Killers"
>> and "The Ballad of
>> Carl Drega."
> =====
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