Sen. Hatch's Attorney Sees 16th Amendment as Bogus After Investigation
Date Posted: January 26 2004
Source: Right On The Mark
WARREN S. RICHARDSON, J.D. Attorney at Law
May 5, 2000
Mr. William J. Benson Constitutional Scholar
1128 East 160th Place South Holland, IL 60473
Dear Mr. Benson:
You may address me simply as Warren and I'll call you Bill. My first comment is to
applaud you for the tremendous amount of work you have done in bringing to light the
enormous volume of factual data-over 17,000 pages of certified government
documents from each of the 48 states (the number in 1913) as well as from the National
Archives in Washington, D.C. In fact, the whole project, which includes your two books,
is truly monumental.
In case you wish to know a little about my background, let me give you a brief overview.
I was honored to serve my nation in World War II as a Naval Aviator. Since my college
career at the University of Rochester had been interrupted by the war, I went back to
the U. of R. and obtained my A.B. degree in history. That was followed by a B.S. in
accounting. By then I was married and we moved to the Washington, D.C. area so that
my wife could continue her college work while I attended law school. Upon receiving my
law degree, I was honored to be chosen for the first class of Honor Law Graduates at
the Justice Department. (This program was started in 1953 while Eisenhower was
president.) Because of my law and accounting background, I moved to the legal
department at the General Accounting Office. After 5 years as a government attorney, I
left for the private sector, where I have been ever since. Two years of that time was
spent in a law firm and the rest has been working in the lobbying profession.
Before going to the subject of your books - the 16th Amendment to the Constitution of
the United States of America was not properly ratified-I wish to lay some groundwork. In
1895 the United States Supreme Court ruled a direct income tax to be unconstitutional
in the case of Pollock v. Farmer's Loan and Trust Company (158 U.S. 601). Since our
forefathers who established our form of government (a republic, not a democracy) by
splitting the federal power into three equal branches (legislative, judicial, and
administrative), it was clearly within the Court's discretion to render their verdict in the
The Supreme Court's decision in that case can only be changed by one of two methods:
1. The Supreme Court, assuming it has valid reasoning, could reverse the Pollock
2. An Amendment to the Constitution authorizing a direct income tax could be passed
by a vote of two-thirds of both houses of Congress and then ratified by the legislatures
of three-fourths of the States.
Following the procedure of item 2, above, the Secretary of State has the duty of
announcing to the public, the President, and the Congress that a proposed amendment
has been accepted or rejected.
The people who wished to overturn the Pollock case chose the second alternative.
In my professional opinion your two books demonstrate, at least to me, that the 16th
Amendment was not properly ratified even though the Secretary of State made the
public announcement that it had been properly ratified. When only four states of the
required 38 ratified it properly, how could it be considered valid? In view of the facts,
how could it become a valid part of our Constitution? Since the Pollock case has not
been reversed by the Supreme Court, what is the legal framework upon which the
current income tax law is based?
Although I am a lawyer, it is important to note that I am not a constitutional scholar;
therefore I do not speak as one. As noted above, it is my opinion that, based on your
overwhelming evidence, the 16th Amendment was not properly ratified. Furthermore, I
believe that it is imperative to have legal scholars in constitutional law study this matter
deeply and render their opinions on whether the 16th Amendment was properly ratified.
Provided they come to the same conclusion we do (that it was not properly ratified),
what would be the logical next move? That last question is a real tough one because of
the politics involved. Assume that the Supreme Court rules upon a case properly
brought before it that the tax system of the U.S. is not legal. Can you even visualize the
reaction of the Members of Congress?
Bill, you have done a magnificent job in providing the factual data about whether the
16th Amendment was properly ratified. I am hopeful that we can find the scholars who
will go to the next step and suggest what should be done now.
Thanks for your hard work. You have done a great service to your country.
/S/ Warren S. Richardson
P.S. Since a personal letter cannot be distributed, or even shown, to anyone other than
the recipient without permission of the author, I hereby authorize you to show it (not
publish it) to other people at your discretion.
Sworn and subscribed to before me this 5th day of May, 2000 /S/ (Mary M. Challstrom,