TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

First Circuit Sidesteps Question of Authority of IRS Agents to be Armed When Enforcing the Tax Law

IRS GunNational Law Journal:  Court Sidesteps 'Novel' Defense Involving Armed IRS Agents:

A federal appeals court has rejected a tax protester’s claim that evidence seized during a search of his property must be tossed out because the IRS agents enforcing a warrant carried guns without statutory authority.

On Monday in United States v. Adams, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed Charles Adams’ conviction for conspiracy to defraud the United States by obstructing payroll tax collections and tax evasion. U.S. District Judge Dennis Saylor IV in Boston sentenced Adams to four years in prison in October 2012.

The ruling leaves unresolved a question raised for the first time at the federal appellate level: whether armed IRS agents can lawfully search for tax evidence. Adams, described in court records as “an unabashed opponent of the tax laws,” argued that the statute only explicitly allows agents to carry guns when enforcing laws relating to alcohol, tobacco and firearms.

“The defendant's theory is a novel one, and the district court was skeptical of it,” Senior Judge Bruce Selya wrote for the First Circuit panel. “In the end, the court elected to detour around the statutory construction question. Instead, the court assumed a statutory violation but held that suppression was not an appropriate remedy. This prudential approach makes eminently good sense.”

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It continually amazes me to listen to intelligent and creative people on talk shows and interviews go on and on about how we need to become more active and demonstrate against this or that new legislation, or how we need to elect new representatives to replace the current corrupted incumbents. What makes anyone think that the newly elected will be any less likely to be corrupted by the carrot and stick techniques used by the controllers?
We already have a system of checks and balances in place, created by the framers of our constitution. The judiciary is the key. It has already been demonstrated conclusively that law enforcement will mindlessly enforce the edicts of the courts, whether those decisions comport with the constitution or not. If we reassert control over our courts by holding judges accountable for their actions or negligence from the bench, a bloodless return to a constitutionally restrained republic can be realized.
Judges routinely deny litigants standing or due process and totally disregard their oath to support and defend the constitution within which is found your right to due process of law. They are known to disregard black letter statute law, controlling case law and court procedure to function as an advocate on behalf of the state. Not only does the state pay their salaries and control their professional advancement, the NSA gathers incriminating evidence against them to use in pivotal cases.
“Jail For Judges” is a concept which creates an external review board to hear complaints of judges actions and negligence and to sanction judges up to and including imprisonment. When judges must choose between according due process to litigants and going to jail for failure to do so, that is when people will receive due process and not a minute before. When “Jail For Judges” becomes law in any single jurisdiction, i.e. any state of the union, a person need only move to that state long enough to establish residency in order to qualify to petition the court for vacation of a facially void judgement, which is the court record of a case which demonstrates a denial of due process.
People must qualify ballot initiatives to institute “Jail For Judges” and re-institute direct access for the public to grand juries to facilitate indictments against govt. actors who commit crimes. In this way the system may be used to purify itself and to return our country to a constitutionally restrained republic.

Posted by: D. Sieved | Jan 15, 2014 11:02:14 AM

Ignorance of the law is no basis for judges to avoid ruling. It seems many judges don't allow arguments when they don't understand what is being argued. Even when evidence is presented to back up the argument, if it is outside of the judge's understanding of the "way things are", then they rule against the defendant, but never the state. The state can say, "yeah, we broke the law, but who cares...?" whereas the defendant can't usually make the same argument. So when a defendant says the state has no established authority, the state gets away with it anyway if the judge believes, without evidence, that the state does have the authority.

Posted by: Epi | Jan 15, 2014 1:28:25 PM

What happened to the Second Amendment? Now everyone BUT the cops are to be armed?

Posted by: Publius Novus | Jan 16, 2014 8:21:24 AM