IRS behavior thrashed by yet another federal circuit.
In a lengthy and unanimous ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Judge David Sentelle scathingly wrote that as the IRS “cannot defend its discriminatory conduct on the merits.” The cases of Linchpins of Liberty et al v. U.S. and True the Vote, Inc v. IRS were remanded back to the district court for further proceedings. At issue are alleged discriminatory behavior on the part of the IRS regarding non-profit applications for conservative groups. Back in March, the 6th Circuit wrote a similarly disparaging opinion regarding the IRS’s unsavory involvement in political speech. Since then, things appear to be going from bad to worse for the IRS. Recently released documents from the FBI indicate that “The FBI’s 302 interviews with Cincinnati IRS employees reveal that the agency adopted a series of policies assuring that Tea Party and other conservative group tax exempt applications would not be approved before the November 2012 presidential election.” The Obama administration has long denied any involvement in a scheme to use the IRS to silence political opponents, stating that such claims are “outrageous.”
President Obama is right, of course. If the executive branch were using the Department of the Treasury to silence political opponents, such behavior would be outrageous. That is the sort of behavior that is unsurprising when attributed to President Nixon. In 1972, the Nixon administration supposedly approached IRS chief Johnnie Mac Walters with a list of Democratic “enemies” that were to be bulled and intimidated by the IRS. Then, the IRS didn’t fold. Now, it appears likely that the IRS has become of a political tool of the executive branch. I hope that this isn’t the change that we were promised as it defies every principle the First Amendment was designed to protect.
--By Derek A. Jordan, Esq., Barnes Law
Derek A. Jordan is an associate attorney with Barnes Law, licensed to practice law in Tennessee.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or any of its or their respective affiliates. This article is for general information purposes and is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.