The Supreme Court: Protecting Gamblers & Gunmen

Since 1951, federal law has required gamblers to register with the Internal Revenue Service, buy a $50 gambling-tax stamp, and pay a 10% excise tax on their annual gross bets. Another law, passed in 1934, called for the taxation and registration of the manufacture, transfer or possession of such underworld weapons as sawed-off shotguns and machine guns. Last week, in the latest of several decisions extending the protection of the Fifth Amendment, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the two laws on grounds that they require persons to give information to the Government that could eventually be self-incriminating.

Obviously, neither law...

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