" 16TH AMENDMENT
617 F.Supp. 237
UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff,
George M. HOUSE and Marion M. House, Defendants.
Nos. G85-23-01 CR, G85-23-02 CR.
United States District Court,
June 7, 1985.
George M. House and Marion M. House, in pro. per.
Lowell H. Becraft, Jr., Huntsville, Ala., for defendants.
David M. Brown and Dana Boente, Dept. of Justice, Washington,
D.C., for plaintiff.
OPINION ON MOTION TO RECONSIDER MOTION TO DISMISS
MILES, Chief Judge.
Defendants were indicted on March 7, 1985 on seven counts of tax
evasion in violation of 26 U.S.C. s 7201, and seven counts of failure to
file income tax returns in violation of 26 U.S.C. s 7203. Defendants
filed a motion to dismiss the indictment on April 12, 1985, claiming that
the sixteenth amendment which grants Congress the power to lay taxes was
never properly ratified, and that as a result, all laws that have been
passed pursuant to the authority granted by the sixteenth amendment are
null and void.
The Court denied defendants' motion to dismiss on April 30, 1985.
On May 21, 1985, the date noticed for jury selection, defendants submitted
a motion for reconsideration of their motion to dismiss on the basis that
the Court had not had the opportunity to consider all the evidence on the
subject of the ratification of the sixteenth amendment.
A hearing was held on Saturday, May 25, 1985. At that time
defendants introduced the testimony of William Benson, co-author of the
book, The Law That Never Was (1985). Mr. Benson testified that he had
researched the legislative history of the sixteenth amendment and had
discovered that in the ratification process only four states had passed
resolutions that quoted absolutely and accurately the sixteenth amendment
as proposed by Congress. All the other states which had allegedly passed
the amendment had in fact passed resolutions that in one or more ways
differed from the language of the Congressional resolution.
It is defendants' contention that Philander Knox, then Secretary
of State, was aware of the differences between the Congressional and the
state versions of the proposed amendment, but that he nevertheless
certified the amendment as having been ratified. This action, defendants
contend, was in violation of the law, and rendered void the certification