IRS Slapped Hard By Federal Court For Giving ‘Unequal Treatment’ And Targeting Of Conservative Groups

The government agency known as the Internal Revenue Service spent Friday getting slapped hard by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to multiple media sources, for their targeting of two conservative citizens’ groups, Linchpins of Liberty and True the Vote, and for “unequal treatment” towards the organizations.

On background in the case, which can be seen at this link to the United States Court of Appeals document online, the legalese seems like serious courtroom drama unfolding between the so-called “Tea Party” organizations and the IRS and decided by the court.

“Instead of processing these applications in the normal course of IRS business, as would have been the case with other taxpayers, the IRS selected out these applicants for more rigorous review on the basis of their names, which were in each instance indicative of a conservative or anti-Administration orientation, as we will set out in more detail below, and as was admitted by the Department of Treasury in the 2013 report of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA).”

D.C. Court of Appeals nominees, 2013.
Attorney General Eric Holder, left, and others watch as President Barack Obama announces the nominations to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2013. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Journalist Sarah Westwood, in her report posted online for Washington Examiner, interviewed Walter Olson for the analysis of the drama Friday. Olson, described as being a senior fellow at the Cato Institute Center for Constitutional Studies, said the court’s response to the IRS agency’s argument was “damaging.”

“It takes on squarely the defense the IRS had raised in this case which is, ‘Whatever happened, we promise not to do it again.’ The court goes through and systematically takes that apart in a way that’s very damaging to the IRS’s overall defense.”

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to the information posted by Westwood in the story, is considered by many to be “the second most powerful court in the country,” and thus the D.C. Court of Appeals’ reversal Friday of the two lower court decisions to actually dismiss the separate lawsuits against the government agency by the victimized citizens involved with the organizations Linchpins of Liberty and True the Vote maybe came as a severe and very public slap.

Congressman Issa sees ‘startling conflict of interest’

Congressman Darrell Issa
Congressman Darrell Issa, of Calif., right, and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., left, in 2014. [Featured Image by Scott Applewhite/AP Images]

Over at the Free Beacon online, writer Victoria Stroup reveals that at least one Department of Justice prosecutor, who also exists on official records as being an “Obama donor,” actually spent more than 1,500 hours investigating the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups, the so-called “Tea Party” organizations.

In the Stroup story, Congressman Darryl Issa of California called the DOJ’s appointed attorney on the IRS targeting case, Barbara Bosserman, a “startling conflict of interest.” Issa has had strong words, posted over at his official House website, about the matter.

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Congressman Issa’s statement, given right after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5053, the Preventing IRS Abuse and Protecting Free Speech Act, is clear, of course.

“All Americans should be disturbed that non-profits, charities, and other tax-exempt groups became a vehicle for the government to suppress political adversaries. Ever since my committee uncovered the IRS targeting of conservative groups in 2013, more and more information has come to light showing that the IRS can’t be trusted with information about Americans personal or political affiliations. In a free society people should be free to criticize government, speak up loudly and do so without living in fear of retribution from their government.”

The House bill was intended to “protect citizens by removing this targeting tool from the IRS,” according to Issa. The D.C. Court also mentioned that “[t]he appellants before us, plaintiffs below, are applicants who were afforded this unequal treatment,” and “[t]hey brought the present actions against the IRS and several of its individual employees, seeking money damages by way of relief under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics.

The Wall Street Journal had also posted another document pertaining to the IRS targeting of conservative citizens. It concerns the True the Vote group in 2013 and their allegations against the IRS and employees.

[Photo by Al Behrman/AP Photo, File]