A Nevada tax protester named Bret Ogilvie has apparently been using the Kent Hovind strategy to defend himself against criminal charges for tax evasion. A federal district court in Nevada has rejected his claim that paying taxes is a violation of his religious freedom. From the ruling:
Ogilvie also invokes the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) and the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses as affirmative defenses to the charges in the Indictment. With respect to the Free Exercise Clause, Ogilvie argues that the Indictment arises out of acts taken by the IRS and various government officials that impeded upon his rights to free exercise without compelling justification and not in the least restrictive mode possible. The Court does not doubt the strength of Ogilvie’s religious beliefs, and assumes, as it must, that the collection of income taxes significantly burdens his free exercise rights. Nevertheless, courts have routinely held that the federal government’s taxing power cannot be resisted on the basis of a religious objection, for the interest in maintaining an efficient and orderly taxation system is compelling justification for burdens on religious freedom…
Ogilvie also challenges the IRS’ income tax collecting role as a violation of the Establishment Clause, arguing that the income tax represents a tenant of socialism, which he describes as a religion that the United States has established. This argument likewise lacks merit, as he has not demonstrated that the income tax lacks a secular purpose, advances a particular religion, or that it fosters an excessive government entanglement with religion.
These arguments are so stupid that I’m amazed Larry Klayman isn’t his attorney.