Search  |  Login  |  Register

1331151629000

(Washington, DC) - The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), focusing on constitutional law, said it is representing nearly 20 Tea Party organizations nationwide against what appears to be a coordinated attempt by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to intimidate and silence these organizations in this election year. The ACLJ says IRS information demands sent to Tea Party groups include probing questions that violate the free speech and freedom of association rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

"This appears to be a coordinated attempt to intimidate Tea Party organizations by demanding information that is outside the scope of legitimate inquiry and violates the First Amendment," said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. "These organizations have followed the law and applied for tax exempt status for their activities as Americans have done for decades. The problem here is the IRS has gone beyond legitimate inquiries and is demanding that these organizations answer questions that actually violate the First Amendment rights of our clients. The IRS is demanding that groups reveal the internal workings of their organizations - including the identification of members, how they are selected, who they associate with, and even what they discuss. This intimidation campaign is as onerous as what the IRS did to the NAACP in the 1950's and is simply unacceptable. We will aggressively defend our clients and are prepared to take the IRS to court if necessary."

The ACLJ says the IRS information demands sent to the Tea Party groups are not in response to complaints of wrongdoing, but instead in response to applications by the organizations for 501(c)(4) tax exempt status.

Sekulow, who served as a trial lawyer with the Office of the Chief Counsel for the IRS earlier in his career, said many of the questions are simply inappropriate and fall well outside the scope of legitimate IRS inquiry. A sampling of the problematic questions are posted here.

The ACLJ is also calling for Congressional oversight hearings on this issue. In just two days, the ACLJ has heard from more than 30,000 Americans urging Congress to conduct hearings concerning the IRS actions in this matter.

Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), focusing on constitutional law, is based in Washington, D.C.

Latest in
Free Speech

ACLJ Forces Trial in IRS Scandal

By Carly F. Gammill1441118188705

Less than 1%. That’s how many Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) cases actually go to trial. Most get resolved without a trial, and without the plaintiff ever obtaining any information from the government regarding the details of its search for responsive documents. Just yesterday morning, however,

read more

Lois Lerner's Secret Account

By Jay Sekulow1440535582861

It reads like another page out of a Hollywood script. Former top IRS official Lois Lerner – at the center of a well-orchestrated scheme targeting conservative organizations – used an alias while at the IRS. In new documents just released, an IRS attorney has confirmed that Lois Lerner used another...

read more

The Email Twilight Zone

By Matthew Clark1440533624668

In what can only be explained as a bizarre (and disturbing) turn of events, former top IRS official Lois Lerner had not one, but at least two, secret personal email addresses. While Lerner was overseeing the IRS department that was targeting conservative groups for their political views, she was...

read more

IRS targeting scheme is a scandal

By Jay Sekulow1439937034960

When the Senate Finance Committee released its findings on the Internal Revenue Service scheme targeting conservative organizations a couple of weeks ago, the initial determination was clear. As I reported earlier : The findings of the bi-partisan report revealed gross mismanagement at the IRS. But...

read more