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Tea Party Lawsuit Against The IRS Expands To 41 Plaintiffs

A lawsuit against the IRS for selected political screening of nonprofits added 16 new plaintiffs Tuesday, bringing the total to 41 conservative and tea party groups seeking to sue the federal government.
Tea Party
The lawsuit, brought by the American Center for Law and Justice on May 29, seeks undisclosed compensatory and punitive damages, in addition to tax-exempt recognition and protection from any further IRS “abuse or retaliation.”

“The floodgates opened after we filed our initial lawsuit,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ, in a statement. “We have been contacted by many additional organizations that have been unlawfully targeted by the IRS – revealing that this unconstitutional scheme was pervasive and damaging to our clients.”

Among the new plaintiffs is the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party Patriots, a Fisherville-based group that, according to the lawsuit, also faced lengthy delays and inquiries from the IRS to obtain tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit.

Calls to the group for comment were not returned.

In addition to the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party Patriots, groups from Alabama, Arizona, Ohio, New Jersey, Texas, Minnesota, Tennessee, California, Mississippi, Washington, Florida, Oregon, Delaware and Louisiana have joined the lawsuit.

Though most of the new plaintiffs are also tea party organizations, one group, Abortion Must End Now — or AMEN — alleged its anti-abortion views precluded from obtaining 501(c)(3) status as an educational nonprofit. AMEN applied for nonprofit status in 2010 and has yet to be informed of the IRS’s decision.

The lawsuit was filed  in response to the IRS admitting it created a list of certain terms to flag potential nonprofits for more scrutiny.

In addition to the Shenandoah Valley Tea Party Patriots, the Richmond Tea Party and Manassas Tea Party are among Virginia-based plaintiffs in the suit.

Read the lawsuit here.

* Hat tip to Carten Cordell of Watchdog.org, Virginia Bureau for permission to use this article in its entirety.

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