Federal Appeals Court rules that IRS still targeting conservative groups 

By Michael HernandezUScourtofAppealsDC

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Friday in a 3-0 unanimous decision reversed a 2014 lower district court ruling that previously dismissed a lawsuit filed in 2013 against the Internal Revenue Service for targeting conservative groups.

The appeals court found that the IRS had committed some “unconstitutional acts against a least a portion of the plaintiffs,” including “Be-On-The-Lookout” or “BOLO” lists where certain organizations’ applications  for tax-exempt status “were subject to extended delay” and “were not receiving the same procession as those of other organizations” in a decision given with former IRS Commissioner Lois Lerner in the courtroom.

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The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) represented 38 organizations (Tea Party, pro-life, and other conservative groups) in the lawsuit.   “We are delighted with this decision of the court of appeals following our constitutional claims to move forward at the district court,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ.  “We have maintained from the outset of this case that the IRS engaged in unconstitutional targeting against our clients.”

Two of the 38 organizations are still awaiting a determination from the IRS—including the Albuquerque Tea Party which has been waiting for nearly seven years since it filed its application for non-profit status in December 2009.

Accordinirs.1g to the ACLJ, the Internal Revenue Service began targeting conservative groups following the January 2010 State of the Union Address when President Barack Obama spoke out against the Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United.  Freedom of Information records show that applications for non-profit status that incorporated such words as “Tea Party, Patriot, Constitution, Liberty, or We The People” were targeted for “excessive paperwork.”

Most of these organizations are small groups (less than 100 individuals) and had plans to fundraise less than $100,000 per year said Sekulow who charged that the IRS worked in conjunction with the Federal Election Commission, Department of Justice and the Executive Office of the White House in a “multi-agency scheme” to help “silence” the Tea Party movement of 2009-2010.

“The fact is that freedom is under attack like never before” states Sekulow in his 2015 New York Times bestseller ‘Undemocratic.’   “The threat comes from the fourth branch of government—the biggest branch—and the only branch not in the Constitution:  the federal bureaucracy.  The bureaucracy imposes thousands of new laws every your; without a single vote from Congress.  The bureaucracy violates the rights of Americans without accountability.

“Americans are bullied by the very institutions established to protect their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Unless we can roll back the fourth branch of government—the most dangerous branch—our elections will no longer matter.   Undemocratic is a wake-up call, a call made at just the right time—before it’s too late to save the democracy we love.”

 

Here is the court’s ruling: TTV v. IRS Appeal Ruling

Michael Hernandez, Co-Founder of the Citizens Journal—Ventura County’s online news service, founder of History Makers International, is a former Southern California daily newspaper journalist and religion and news editor.  Mr. Hernandez, a 1976 graduate of Pepperdine University can be contacted by email: hernandez.mike@aol.com or by calling (818) 263-9881.


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