Paul L. Caron

Friday, October 24, 2014

The IRS Scandal, Day 533

IRS Logo 2USA Today:  Tea Party Loses Court Battle Over Targeting to IRS:

A federal court dismissed two lawsuits against the Internal Revenue Service Thursday, ruling that the tax agency is no longer targeting conservative tax-exempt groups for greater scrutiny.

True the Vote v. IRS Ruling

Linchpins of Liberty v. IRS

"Unless an actual, ongoing controversy exists in this case, this court is without power to decide it," U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton ruled, dismissing one lawsuit brought by True the Vote, a conservative vote-monitoring organization.

True the Vote, an offshoot of the Tea Party-affiliated King Street Patriots, had its application as a social welfare group help up because the IRS suspected it was engaging in direct political election campaigning, which is forbidden under section 501(c)(4) of the tax code. IRS agents found that its web site contained "Democratic attacks and Republican/conservative response," according to confidential IRS documents obtained by USA TODAY. 

Walton said the IRS has assured the public that they're no longer screening applications for tax exemptions based on its political leanings, a practice that led to the dismissal of several top IRS officials when it was disclosed by Treasury inspectors last year.

"Thus, the allegedly unconstitutional governmental conduct, which had delayed the processing of the plaintiffs' tax-exempt applications and spawned this litigation, is no longer impacting the plaintiffs," Walton said in a second opinion dismissing a lawsuit brought by Linchpins of Liberty and 40 other groups in 22 states. ...

In a footnote, the judge did leave open the possibility that two groups -- Patriots Educating Concerned Americans Now of Redding, Calif. and the suburban Cincinnati Liberty Township Tea Party -- could still sue because the IRS failed to rule on their tax exemption application within 270 days. The judge gave the IRS 14 days to argue why that element of the lawsuit cannot go forward.

Because he dismissed the lawsuits on procedural grounds, Walton did not rule on the merits of the case. He wrote in a footnote: "The court's opinion should not be interpreted as an assessment of the propriety of the alleged conduct by the defendants."

True the Vote:  Press Release:

"The Court today correctly acknowledged that the IRS targeted True the Vote because of its perceived political beliefs," True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said. “Such conduct is reprehensible and should never be acceptable in a free society. Despite this critical finding, we are stunned and disappointed in the court’s ruling which nevertheless dismisses our case. We will be evaluating our legal options and will announce our intent in that regard soon.”

IRS News, IRS Scandal, Tax | Permalink


Does anyone have a guesstimate about how much the legals fees on both sides of these cases has totaled? If there are enough high bracket taxpayers in the law firms on both sides, this might not be too expensive for the United States -- and it might be a money-maker for state treasuries.

Posted by: eli bortman | Oct 25, 2014 4:49:59 AM

Travesty of justice. The illegal actions never stopped in total even if some of these groups finally received a determination after years of political persecution. And in the absence of anyone being held accountable, it is ridiculous to think that the Obama administration wont go right back to what they were doing.

Shame on Democrats for supporting this. I can't believe how Obama has changed his party. Disgusting.

Posted by: wodun | Oct 24, 2014 1:48:09 PM

A well-deserved loss. The courts should have imposed sanctions for such nonsense. Ideology -- and that's is all it was -- should not be tolerated in courts of justice. Justice, justice shall you pursue. That is good theology and that, in any event, is good justice as we celebrate it in the United States. These groups received justice. They have no legitimate complaints. But, they can pursue their complaints -- legitimate or not -- in the courts of appeals and will, I am sure, receive justice. And then, they can pursue their complaints in their true audience -- the believers in consipiracies beyond the imagination (and certainly beyond reality). I will state this, that the people who fan this type of delusion are really more interested in money than the ideology of the people that they pander to for money.

Posted by: Jack Townsend | Oct 24, 2014 12:02:33 PM

Yes, when one reads other sites, one finds out that (a) the IRS was targeting groups on all sides of the spectrum,
(b) that they were using words like 'tea party', as they should as currently popular words indicating a high likelihood of a partisan group which shouldn't have a tax exemption, and finally
(c) they were using words like 'environmental' in the same way, which is of course not the same thing.

Posted by: Barry | Oct 24, 2014 11:03:29 AM

Publius Novus must be all over himself with glee that the POTUS has been able to successfully impede the heretofore free speech of Americans left further in the servitude of despotic government by executive abuses that Richard Nixon was unable to achieve.

Posted by: teapartydoc | Oct 24, 2014 10:35:34 AM

These cases have been tempests in a TEApot since the beginning. In addition, Patriots Educating Concerned Americans Now might want to educate itself and members on the case or controversy requirement of Art. III before they attempt any future "constitutional" education of concerned Americans.

Posted by: Publius Novus | Oct 24, 2014 7:02:32 AM