Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tax Objector's Religious Freedom Challenges to Indictment Rejected

In United States v. Ogilvie, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57195 (D NV, April 19, 2013), a Nevada federal district court rejected attempts by a defendant, indicted on conspiracy charges for failure to pay federal taxes, to invoke religious liberty claims to obtain a dismissal of the indictment. The court rejected defendant's 1st Amendment and RFRA objections to the income tax, saying "the interest in maintaining an efficient and orderly taxation system is compelling justification for burdens on religious freedom." It also rejected his claim that the collection of income taxes violates the Establishment Clause because income taxes are a tenet of the religion of socialism. Finally, the court rejected defendant's objection to the appointment of stand-by counsel, despite defendant's claim that his religious belief does not allow him to be represented by counsel.