Federal Court Puts Road Block in the Way of Justice for Conservatives Targeted by the IRS

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The fight for justice is never the easy road, and it doesn’t always win the first round.

Yesterday a federal district court dismissed two lawsuits (at least a majority of the claims) brought on behalf of conservative groups who were targeted by the IRS.

Unfortunately, the court’s ruling is based on what we believe is a mistaken interpretation of the law that would allow corruption to continue unfettered at the highest levels of federal government and deny justice to those who had their constitutional rights violated.

At the ACLJ, we represent 41 conservative and pro-life groups from 22 states who were wrongfully targeted by the IRS in a lawsuit against the Obama Administration and key IRS officials. ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow responded to the court’s decision stating: “The decision by the court is disappointing. However, it does not deter our efforts to seek justice for our clients. We are reviewing the decision and plan to appeal.”

However, despite the court’s ruling, there are several key things to point out about the case. The trial court did not rule on the merits of the case. In fact, the judge specifically stated in his memorandum opinion: “The Court’s opinion should not be interpreted as an assessment of the propriety of the alleged conduct by the defendants, as resolution of the motions does not require an assessment of the merits of the plaintiffs’ claims.”

Also, while the court dismissed most of the claims, there is at least one key claim that will proceed (I’ll get to more on that in a moment).

The court’s decision to throw out the remaining counts of the lawsuit was based on three key rulings that could lead to dangerous results.

First, despite the level of wrongdoing alleged, the trial court bought into the Obama Administration’s argument in its motion to dismiss that IRS officials involved in targeting Americans for the political beliefs should receive “qualified immunity.” In other words, the court held that Lois Lerner and other top IRS officials named in our lawsuit cannot be held accountable in their individual capacity for decisions made in targeting conservatives as part of their “official” duties at the IRS. The obvious danger this leads to is that it would be almost impossible to ever hold IRS officials specifically accountable for targeting individuals and abusing the immense power of the IRS.

Second, the trial court relied on the …read more    

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