U.S. v. William Benson, 08-1312 and 08-1586
Report of Oral Arguments
On Tuesday, Oct. 28th, 2008, oral arguments were held in the 7th Cir. Court of Appeals for the appeal of U.S. v. Benson. The District Court issued an injunction, enjoining Bill Benson from selling his “Reliance Defense” package, but denied the government the list of people who purchased the package from Bill. A complete explanation of the case and why it is so important, can be read at http://jeffdickstein.com/ . Bill appealed, and the government filed a cross appeal.
The oral arguments were before Judges Bauer, Evans, and Ripple. Between 25 and 30 Patriots were there to show support for Bill Benson and the First Amendment. The court was announced into session by a man with a heavy Eastern European [Communist] accent, which was very appropriate for a case where the government is banning books and information.
Bill’s attorney, Jeff Dickstein delivered a spectacular and stunning argument. When the case was called, Jeff sprang to the podium and immediately picked up a stack of documents in each hand and said, “these are certified public documents from the National Archive... and this is a government report. The government says Bill Benson can’t sell these!” Initially, Judges Evans and Bauer had smirks on their faces and almost mocked Dickstein, until they made the mistake of challenging him. Bauer sarcastically said, “you have to pay taxes or go to jail”. Bauer stated, “the Supreme Court ruled the 16th Amendment was ratified”. Dickstein cut him off and hollered, “Name the case! What case?” Judge Bauer stuttered, “duh duh duh”. Judge Evans came to Bauer’s rescue by saying, “we will ask the questions here”.
Dickstein brilliantly argued that Bill has the right to disseminate information, especially when it is true. Judges Evans and Bauer attempted to make the case solely into a 16th Amendment case, instead of a First Amendment case. While rolling his eyes, Evans asked Dickstein if he could cite one case saying the 16th Amendment was not ratified, and is he aware that this issue has been before all the courts several times and the courts have ruled against it. Dickstein cried out that “Mr. Benson believes the courts are wrong! And it his right to say the courts are wrong. Mr Benson believes you have committed TREASON!” At this point Evans and Bauer lost their arrogant attitude and the smirks were wiped clean off their faces as Dickstein proceed to rip them a new bunghole.
Dickstein correctly argued that Bill Benson has the right to change the political thinking by showing people the material he has researched and that the government cannot silence any person’s attempt to educate the public simply because the government doesn’t agree.
In a loud commanding tone, Dickstein lifted his arm, pointed to the black bailiff and said, “this man was property because of bad decisions of this court!” Wow! You could have heard a fish fart in that court room at that point. Dickstein repeatedly slammed the judges for their erroneous decisions and refusal to allow the 16th Amendment issue to reach it’s merits. Dickstein’s argument was razor sharp and he knows the issue and the law. Dickstein’s arguments were so compelling that I almost stood up and cheered. It didn’t take long for the judges to see what a mistake it was to ask Dickstein anything. Dickstein was the only attorney in all the cases heard that day to be told “your time is up”.
On behalf of the government, a female U.S. Attorney gave an unconvincing argument that Bill Benson’s “Reliance Defense” package directed people to stop paying income taxes. It was at this time that the silent Judge Ripple came to life. He stated that the act of selling documents does not mean it is “commercial speech”, and that any person can read the material and decide for himself whether to act on it or not. Embarrassingly, the U.S. Attorney said that the material being sold [separately] was ok, but when packaged together, it was illegal. This argument is ludicrous, if not funny.
After referring to the Bell case [3rd Cir.], Judge Ripple told the U.S. Attorney that “the language in Bell is terribly broad.” Finally, Judges Bauer and Evans joined in on challenging the U.S. Attorney about the First Amendment implications. The U.S. Attorney also stated that the government “needs the list of names” of everyone Bill sold the Reliance Defense package to, because “those people are victims”. What a laugh. If the government gets those names, then they will surely be victims.
Bill was sitting front and center, and as the U.S. Attorney would make false statements [which was most of the time], Bill would adamantly shake his head “no” while groaning in disapproval.
Although the judges put on a good First Amendment show for the audience, we will not know how they will rule until the opinion is handed down [quietly and out of public view]. But one thing I do know, Bill Benson and Jeff Dickstein are Heros! I was very proud to stand beside them. For those of you not there, you missed one of the greatest oral arguments of our day. As one Patriot in attendance stated, “that was definitely worth the price of admission!”
PS. Click to list to Dickstein's oral arguments.