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Tea Party lawsuits against the IRS thrown out of court

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Zach McAuliffe
Zach McAuliffe is a University of Dayton alumni with degrees in journalism and English. He wants to present people with all the facts they need to make informed decisions on the world around them. He also enjoys Shakespeare and long walks on the beach with his puppy Lily.

The courts have ruled in favor of the IRS Thursday after federal courts in DC threw-out lawsuits being brought against the agency by more than 40 conservative groups seeking compensation for the delays and scrutiny of their tax-exempt forms and applications.

Two cases involving the groups True the Vote and Linchpins of Liberty were deemed moot by Judge Reggie Walton of the US District Court of the District of Columbia, after it was made clear the IRS had granted the groups their desired tax-exempt status.  The case involving Linchpins of Liberty also involved the other 40 conservative groups who had banded together and polled their efforts for the case.

“After the plaintiff initiated this case, its application to the IRS for tax-exempt status was approved by the IRS,” said Judge Walton, according to Politico.  “The allegedly unconstitutional governmental conduct, which delayed the processing of the plaintiff’s tax exempt application and brought about this litigation, is no longer impacting the plaintiff.”

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True the Vote founder, Catherine Engelbrecht, said she was very upset by the decision and feels the targeting and her and her group’s political views is a “reprehensible” act.  “The court acknowledges in its opinion that the IRS did in fact target True the Vote for our perceived political beliefs, but then it holds that neither the agency nor the individual IRS agents or officers are responsible for this unconstitutional conduct,” said Engelbrecht. 

“It’s a disappointing ruling,” Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, told the Daily Signal.  “It basically leaves targets of bad behavior by the IRS without a remedy.”

The IRS has admitted it used inappropriate measures and criteria to single-out conservative groups, starting in 2010, in order to slow the process of holding the status of tax-exempt groups.  Two House committees are still carrying out their own investigations into the IRS on these claims, according to the Washington Times, and many top IRS officials, such as Louis Lerner, have already resigned from their positions.

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