Elizabeth Boardman wants the IRS to stop calling her frivolous. Ms. Boardman is a Quaker and a member of the Administrative Committee of the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee. The Ninth Circuit turned down her appeal earlier this month. I wrote about the original district court decision over two years ago and have been following the war tax resistance movement for nearly four years, but it has been some time since I have noted a development, so a little background might be in order.
Over and over again courts have said that there is nothing sinister in so arranging one's affairs as to keep taxes as low as possible. Everybody does so, rich or poor; and all do right, for nobody owes any public duty to pay more than the law demands: taxes are enforced exactions, not voluntary contributions. To demand more in the name of morals is mere cant.
Accordingly, the Anti-Injunction Act precludes federal jurisdiction here unless Appellant can satisfy the judicially created exception to the Act by demonstrating (1) irreparable injury if her case is not heard, and (2) certainty of success on the merits. Appellant fails to satisfy either requirement. Appellant has a legal remedy in the form of a suit for refund and thus will suffer no irreparable injury. Appellant also has not shown that she is certain to succeed on the merits of her claim that the government's listing of war tax resistance as a “frivolous” legal position for purposes of 26 U.S.C. § 6702 connotes discouragement of religion or otherwise violates her free exercise rights.
We are disappointed with the Panel Decision. There is a further proceeding in the Ninth Circuit, a petition for rehearing or for rehearing en banc (larger body of judges). I am preparing such a petition that will respond to the Panel Decision, something in the nature of commentary.
As I see it, it is a contempt of conscience to call "frivolous" (as in "silly, trivial," etc) a person's refusal to pay for mass killing and destruction. War has always been good business for a select few who then use some of their ill-gotten gains to manipulate The Law to their own criminally-insane purposes. Humankind and The Law need to evolve out of the darkness of the jungle and into the light. And this is happening. Elizabeth Boardman isn't the first war tax resister and she won't be the last.