Archive for month: May, 2013
Congress has provided the IRS the power to police itself by eliminating deterrence for intentional violations of the law. This post tells you how the law does it. This particular enabler for abuse power has been in place for years. Recently however, federal power has accumulated in Washington. The willingness of federal employees to exceed their lawful power in the pursuit of some agenda has also expanded. Have you wondered why the debate in Washington has become rancorous lately? It is because the political parties are fighting to control that unjust power. Our representatives should be fighting to limit or eliminate it. They are not.
Are we becoming a country inhabited by 2 separate sets of folks, those who must follow the laws and those who might follow the laws? The US District Attorney has the duty to prosecute people who have been found to be engaged in criminal behavior. In our case, District Attorney Laura Duffy responded to allegations of corruption, by multiple IRS employees over a long period of time, in essence by stating that IRS agents get a pass since their illegal activities, since they might not have noticed that they were breaking laws. Would that line of reasoning work for the rest of us?
Even if the Court were to find that plaintiffs had established a constitutional or statutory right that they claimed the IRS Defendants had violated, which they cannot, the actions taken by the IRS Defendants in investigating and collecting outstanding tax liabilities cannot be said to be “clearly unlawful” to a reasonable officer in that situation.’ (United States Attorney Laura Duffy, 10-cv-02105: Dkt. 63);
In defense of IRS agents who have been accused of breaking numerous laws over the course of about a year, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Tamara Ashford stated in writing that some group within the Department of Justice ( “We”), and perhaps the entire Agency, is comfortable barring citizens from suing federal employees, even when the legal trangressions of those federal agents run afoul of laws designed to protect us from criminal gangs:
“We nevertheless maintain that the language in Wilkie, as well as the principles underlying that decision, are broad enough to bar a RICO suit against government employees in any situation where the employees are acting for the financial benefit of the United States.” (Deputy Assistant Attorney General Tamara Ashford, 9th Circuit Appeal, 11-56062-Dkt. 18; 31, ¶2)
I finished my conversations with Representative Duncan Hunter (initial emails: EMAIL 1 EMAIL 2). What a disappointment. With the collaboration of the House Ways and Means committee, Duncan Hunter’s office has decided that the immunity laws are just fine. According to Hunter’s office (tel. conv.), the Ways and Means committee staff do not want IRS employees’ behavior changed. I responded that IRS employees then have no limits to the acts they can perform in order to collect taxes. Duncan Hunter’s office replied that there is a limit–assault.
This is good to know.
Federal statutes defeat deterrence for IRS employees’ intentional violation of the law. This is why the IRS acts like a bully.
We sued, claiming that once deterrence for intentional violation of the law is defeated, a taxpayers’ due process rights can be undone. The lawsuit was dismissed because the District Court concluded that once Congress gives IRS employees immunity, that is all the due process we should expect.
All briefs for the constitutional appeal have been filed at the 9th Circuit. The United States brief is the most poorly argued of the entire dispute.
We, in turn, cut them no slack for their departures from the facts, law, and the constitution.
For reference, the Kenner opening brief is here.