United States Supreme Court Quote

“The Constitution prohibits any direct tax, unless in proportion to numbers as ascertained by the census..... [and] ... prohibits Congress from laying a direct tax on the revenue from property of the citizen without regard to state lines...”

~ United States Supreme Court

Pollack v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Company {157 U.S. 429} (1895) 

Ratings and Comments

J Carlton, Calgary

"unless in proportion to numbers as ascertained by the census" What the heck does THAT mean? And why would census figures change the Principle of a law?

Me Again, Your Town,USA

Nothing wrong with this quote.It's the IRS that demands our direct tax (payroll) and the IRS is a seperate business entity which was never legitimately sanctioned by 2/3 of The States and is therefore an Illegal Entity!!!!!!

Logan, Memphis, TN

Carlton, "according to the census" is in reference to the Constitution. Few people understand anymore that we're a federalist republic, made up of a conglomerate of 50 independent and sovereign states. When our nation was first conceived under our the Federal Constitution, each state was distinguished apart from another much like Germany is from France, Italy, or the UK right now in the federalist type EU. Each state delegated a portion of its sovereignty to the federalist organization, but retained full power and authority to act in every matter that had not been specifically detailed within the Amending powers of the Constitution (10th Amendment). The founders feared another government like they had under the Articles of Confederation wherein the Confederation was generally broke. The Constitution, therefore, granted that it could basically charge a type of rent tax to the states in proportion to their census. The founders sought diligently to divorce the people from being in direct relationship with the federal government because, as they said, history has proven that such a relationship would prove disastrous in the long run (which was what they were trying to get away from). So, as per the Constitution, the only "tax" that the federal government could lay upon the "people" themselves would be in the form of a rent tax in proportion to the state. Specifically the Constitution reads, "No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or enumeration herein before directed to be taken." In other words, the federal government did not have the power to tax the people directly; they had to go through the state in proportion to the census.

Mike, Norwalk

This cite is often used in conjunction with no new powers being granted. It is also interesting to see how both sides of the issue present their particular interpretation of this and other Supreme Court decisions in tax related cases. I've not personally heard the government come down on the side of law yet.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Editor I believe in good conscience you must attach a name to these quotes. Many folks reading this will think that this is law. Justices can say many things and if they say them in a minority opinion that is all that it is a minority opinion. Since we still have an income tax this quote if it is from a Justice must be a minority opionion. By stating the quote is by United States Supreme Court what exactly do you mean. Even a lawyer can appear before the court and make statements that will appear in the record. I think you should clarify this. Many will be misled.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, you make me smile again. Your statement above is true enough in general but, the case sited is regularly used by both sides (the despots and the sovereigns). It is a decision by the majority.

E Archer, NYC

Perhaps the Editor should put a disclaimer on all quotes from judges as their word is not law, it is an opinion -- majority or dissenting, but an opinion none-the-less. Something Waffler should remember.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

The quote should be attributed to its author. The Supreme Court only speaks with decisons. This was not a decision but apparently an opinion of someone either a Judge or lawyer and it should be made clear. Mike if it is a decision can you give me the case citation. If it is a decision can you explain when and why we are still paying almost 3 trillions of dollars into the Federal Government via direct income personal, corporate, estate and gift, and excises taxes on trucking, gasoline, etcetera. Mike I also responded to your questions in the previous days quotes about IRS Budget etcetera.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Archer a majority opinion becomes case law, a minority opinion does not. Sorry but you are wrong again. Their word is law if it is the majority word.

Editor, Liberty Quotes

I agree, Waffler. We cite wherever we can, and we welcome any help from our dedicated subscribers. Please keep in mind that 'quotes' are just that, 'quotes.' The words of men/women are not automatically truth -- that is for the reader to discern. That goes for judges, presidents, politicians, church leaders, everyone.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, the case citation is Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and Trust Company {157 U.S. 429} It was an appeal from the Circuit Court of The United States for the Southern District of New York; No. 898 Argued: March 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 1895 --- Decided: April 8, 1895. You can even Wiki this one. The simplest explanation of why such taxes are paid is: The slaves have not yet decided to live by law and take back their free Representative Republic from the de facto despots that infest this land with their UNCONSTITUTIONAL tyranny. The despots call their immoral and criminal actions law, when in fact, their criminal acts have no resemblance to law. (I hope I didn't sugar coat that too much so that it would not be understood.) By the way, for clarification; Article 1 Section 1 U.S. Constitution. "All legislative powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives." Clearly note here, NO COURT can make law, nor is their word law, whether by majority or minority. Case law is another mis-direction phrase to continue to empower the despots and enslave the ignorant. The court, by decision, can only determine whether or not a legislative code, rule, statute, etc. is Constitutional, thereas harmonizing with law. Then by color of association to law, such code, rule, statute, etc. may be called law. It is by this continuing practice, to call that which is not law, 'law', is that which confuses the slave and empowers the despots.

Waffler, Smith, Arkansas

Thanks editor. Mike you and Archer can argue about whether case law prior to 1934 is valid. I think it is and since Farmer predated and gave rise to the 16th Amendment which allows for direct taxation and thus for the income tax you have again DONE HALF A JOB in your research. You state case law in Farmer to prove your opinion and then you say case law is of little or no effect. (I think what you want to say is case law is good even minority opinons are good if you agree with them.) Archer, if I am not mistaken, often elaborates on English Common Law well that is what case law is in this country.

E Archer, NYC

There are 3 distinct jurisdictions recognized by the Constitution: common law, equity law, and admiralty law. Common Law (i.e. Law of the Land) deals with the natural-born rights of living breathing humans -- it is not compulsory -- you may do whatever you please as long as it does not infringe upon the lives, liberty, or property of others. Common Law does not compel performance. Today's so-called laws (ordinances, statutes, acts, regulations, orders, precepts, etc.) are often erroneously perceived as law, but just because something is called a "law" does not necessarily make it a law. There is a difference between "legal" and "lawful." Anything the government does is legal, but it may not be lawful. Equity is the jurisdiction of compelled performance (for any contract you are a party to) and is based on what is fair in a particular situation. The term "equity" denotes the spirit and habit of fairness, justness, and right dealing which would regulate the intercourse of men with men. You have no rights other than what is specified in your contract. Equity has no criminal aspects to it. And thirdly, Admiralty is compelled performance plus a criminal penalty, a civil contract with a criminal penalty (i.e. Law of the Sea, military law). When using negotiable instruments (i.e. promissory notes, bills of credit, etc.) instead of real money of substance, our complaints are within the jurisdiction of Equity law, and thus subject to the Uniform Commercial Code. Since we started using Federal Reserve Notes (i.e. negotiable instruments) instead of real money, there has been little need for Common Law courts if liability payments are to be made in negotiable instruments instead of real money. But since Equity courts cannot carry criminal penalties, Equity and Admiralty have been merged to create a corporate statutory jurisdiction (colorable law) that compels individuals (now treated as corporations) to 'obey the law' at the risk of criminal sanctions. Thus the Common Law jurisdiction is all but disappeared -- and the protection of our natural-born rights with it. And finally, FDR never used the argument that the 16th Amendment gave him the power to tax the people -- I do not think anyone in government says that the 16th Amendment granted any new powers of taxation -- that is why removing the amendment won't change anything.

Mike, Norwalk

Waffler, how can you so completely miss what I so clearly said??? 'Case law' is a misnomer and an oxymoron used to legitimize de facto authority. Case law either refers to stare decisis or, the court's legislation (often referred to as an active court - another justification for de facto tyranny); both of which are extra/anti-law concepts. Decisions, prior to, or after 1934, are only valid if they define 'law' as Congress has set forth. The Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and Trust Company decision is used in conjunction with 'no new powers to tax decisions post the 16th Amendment. If it was unconstitutional pre 1913 and no new powers were given, there or there-after, no new taxes are Constitutional today. The new tax, that goes contrary to an earlier defined 'income', renders court decisions supporting law and the once sovereign of no consequence. The Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and Trust Company decision is not law, it simply defines what the Constitution allows and the Congress sets forth in a given certain circumstance. I really don't have a clue why it is so hard for you to understand Constitutional precepts and how the three branches have their own separate activities. It is one thing to say you understand and then disagree with it but, it is another thing entirely to try and say what is going on now is lawful or Constitutional.

Mark Dravis, Guntersville, Alabama

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largess of the public treasury. From that time on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the results that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world's greatest civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through this sequence: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to great courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to complacency; from complacency to apathy; from apathy to dependence; from dependency back again into bondage." -- Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee: (1742-1813) Scottish jurist and historian. Suzy Platt, ed., Respectfully Quoted (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1989), 84.


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