Some of the Tea Party and conservative groups targeted by the Internal Revenue Service have decided to sue America’s most-hated bureaucracy agency. Lachlan Markay of the Washington Free Beacon reported last week that the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) will represent a number of groups that were hurt by the discrimination:
Jordan Sekulow, policy director of conservative public interest law firm the American Center for Law and Justice, said he will be taking legal action against the IRS in the next few days on behalf of groups that were improperly targeted.
Seventeen ACLJ clients are ready to file suit against the IRS, he said.
Those clients “suffered damages, they lost membership and donations, they missed the election cycle, they missed key moments, they were not able to bring speakers in,” Sekulow said.
ACLJ has demanded that the IRS take action on 10 groups whose 501(c)(4) statuses have not yet been approved. Lawsuits will be filed whether or not the IRS complies with that request, he added.
“This is far from over, even if they do approve the remaining groups,” Sekulow said.
The lawsuit will be filed this week, according to the ACLJ, and will include 27 Tea Party and conservative organizations. In an op-ed at the Washington Examiner, Matthew Clark of the ACLU explained the tactics employed by the IRS to single out these groups have no place in America.
“The IRS is supposed to be a safeguard against partisan politics, but instead, it has succeeded in stifling freedom of speech under the color of law,” wrote Clark. In the face of bipartisan outrage, acting Commissioner Miller’s assertion to Congress that the IRS targeting was merely ‘horrible customer service’ is atrocious.”
“The IRS’ actions are a Draconian abuse of government power and smack of McCarthyism. This was a direct and targeted assault on the constitutional rights of conservative citizen-led groups — American citizens,” he added.
This lawsuit is among the first steps in holding the IRS accountable for its actions. However, an independent investigation is still needed to discover just how far up the chain the scandal goes. Unfortunately, the White House and many congressional Democrats don’t believe that this severe breach of the public trust warrants further investigation.