… of felony tax evasion have arrived at an impasse with U.S. Marshall Steve Monier in a stand off. The Browns remain enclosed within their home, a fortified compound situated on 110 acres, while an armed police presence has dug in around the perimeter. Following their conviction in January of 2007, the Browns have vowed that they will not surrender to authorities and that they would defend themselves and their home with force if necessary. Recent developments, according to the Associated Press [AP], include multiple arrests of individuals charged with obstructing justice, as well as aiding and abetting the Browns through the provision of supplies including weapons. What started out as a tax case has become increasingly complicated with alleged criminal activity and a potential for violence.

While it is easy to dismiss Ed and Elaine Brown as extremists, based on their public statements and ensuing behavior, one cannot overlook the fact that the Browns are willing to pay with their lives to defend their position. An investigation into their claim is merited; not as a way to either indict or support them, but as a means towards understanding how the Browns arrived at their fiercely held beliefs. We The People, can and should hear them out, if only for the sake of argument, and try to consider their legal argument without Judicial induced prejudice.

Since 1994, the Browns have repeatedly sent written requests to the federal government to provide them with evidence of a federal law that legally binds them to pay federal income taxes. The one consistent comment coming out of the Brown ‘compound’ is to "show us the relevant law." The Browns claim that they have never received an answer to this request. The IRS will point to the 16th amendment that empowers Congress to impose taxes and will further point to title 26 of the tax code that lists specific laws in the collection of federal income taxes. According to the Browns, these specific examples aren’t as clear cut and dry as the IRS and the federal government would lead you to believe.

During press conferences, Ed Brown has stated emphatically that he is not a citizen of the United States. At face value, this claim is illogical after all he was born in this country. While not recognizing his United States citizenship, Brown does recognize his citizenship in the state of New Hampshire and his responsibilities therein, as evidenced by the fact that the Browns have paid their state taxes. The problem for the Browns lies in the label of ‘citizen of the United States’. They don’t recognize a federal citizenship and furthermore, do not recognize a federal duty of paying off the federal debt via a federal income tax.

Their refusal to recognize a federal citizenship and the duties therein are derived from a belief that no relevant law exists to support the legal existence of either of these entities. They believe that a federal or U.S. citizenship, as well as a federally imposed tax burden to pay off federal debt is not present in the Constitution, not even by way of an amendment.

The Browns do not recognize the power granted to Congress to impose taxes by the 16th amendment because they believe that the 16th Amendment failed to be ratified into law; therefore no legal or lawful premise exists upon which federal income tax can be imposed and collected. The 16th amendment as viewedby Ed and Elaine Brown, is the premise upon which they fashion their request that the federal government produce a relevant law that holds them accountable for payment of tax on income. There actually exists quite an extensive body of legal documents that support the thesis of a failed ratification of the 16th amendment. Legal professionals who have brought cases in front of the court arguing the failed ratification stand, cite among other arguments, Congressional records from that time period. In the end, an individual interpretation of the wording of the Constitution will predicate which side of this issue one recognizes. Bearing that in mind, a failed ratification of the 16th amendment, has not been refuted to my knowledge, as well as others that are paying attention to this important issue.

In short, it’s a battle of legal interpretation and perhaps the biggest tax loophole of them all. Legal professionals who agree with the Browns assert that federal courts won’t recognize evidence supporting a failed ratification of the 16th amendment. Critics of the courts further claim that federal court judges are unwilling to hear these arguments because it requires that they exercise basic logic without prejudice. It is further asserted that their unwillingness is paramount to an abdication of their main responsibility, which is to uphold and defend the Constitution. This specific assertion cannot be tossed aside as lacking in merit because there is a ‘corps’ of non-elected judicial activists furthering their own political views in direct conflict with the Constitution. There are scores of examples where activist judges routinely overrule the will of the people and legislate from the bench. Although, the emphasis here is in connection with the Brown’s controversial stand on the 16th amendment, it cannot be overlooked that activist judges do indeed put their personal agendas before upholding and defending the Constitution.

The argument put forth by the Browns is not well served with convictions of tax evasion and a stand off with a U.S. Marshall. However, a single, consistent point that they have not wavered on in more than a decade is a simple request to the federal government to show them the relevant law. Why indeed doesn’t the federal government just knock out an incontrovertible memo that points to the repeatedly requested relevant law? U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer holds vacation property just a half mile away from the scene, maybe he could be a helpful neighbor by laying it out for the Browns and put this controversy to rest once and for all.

The strong-armed federal response to non-surrendering tax evaders certainly raises eyebrows. It gives you pause when you consider that the federal government can engage in such a public show of force out in New Hampshire in a showdown with convicted tax evaders, yet claim to be completely powerless in the face of the illegal invasion of our sovereign nation. So powerless that the only solution they can conceive of is amnesty. I guess amnesty for federal tax evaders can only be applied to non-citizens of the illegal order. As always, the questions that arise out of difficult situations such as the current impasse between the Browns and the federal government give rise to additional, troubling questions regarding upholding and defending our Constitution; most egregious of all being un-elected activist judges.

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