ACLJ Files Objections to the IRS’ New Anti-Speech Regulations: | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

The IRS’ New Anti-Speech Regulations

By Miles Terry1393454194000

Last Friday, the ACLJ launched the next phase of its opposition to the IRS targeting scheme by filing a formal objection to the IRS’s unconstitutional proposed regulations of 501(c)(4) organizations.

The IRS’s proposed regulations represent merely the latest effort to unlawfully restrict the free speech of conservative and Christian groups and indeed fits the longstanding pattern of Obama Administration lawlessness: Overreach, retreat, and try again.

The ACLJ first sounded the alarm against the Obama Administration’s unlawful targeting of grassroots conservative groups in the spring of 2012. While the mainstream media gave the Administration the benefit of the doubt and ignored if not completely dismissed all of facts as nothing more than political stunt from the “angry,” vindication of these groups finally came with Lois Lerner’s apology in May of 2013 made it clear that the bureaucratic targeting was widespread, it was systemic, and it was focused on conservatives.

In a pending lawsuit, the ACLJ represents 41 such conservative, grassroots organizations whose applications for tax-exempt determinations were improperly and unconstitutionally handled based upon their political viewpoints. We argue in this lawsuit that the IRS and its employees deprived our clients of their rights to freedom of speech and association under the First Amendment and the equal protection of the laws under the Fifth Amendment. 

Under fire, what has the IRS done? Has it turned from its unlawful ways? Hardly. It’s seeking to dismiss the ACLJ’s suit, it’s stonewalling Congressional investigators, and it’s proposing new regulations to restrict free speech.

There is clear evidence that these regulations were initially formulated not to undo the damage from IRS political targeting, but to render targeting unnecessary by stripping the free speech rights of nonprofits. These regulations were never an afterthought. They were instead drafted as part of a calculated and systematic attempt to silence the Administration’s critics.

Conservative leaders are correct when they state that these new IRS regulations “would redefine political activity so broadly that grass-roots groups all across the country will likely be forced to shut down simply for engaging in the kind of non-partisan educational/issue based activities the 501(c)(4) designation was designed to support."

The ACLJ is acting. ACLJ opposes the proposed regulations in their entirety. To read our official comments that we filed to stop these unconstitutional and burdensome regulations, click here.

This article is written by ACLJ Attorney Miles Terry.

Latest in
Free Speech

President Obama’s IRS Scandal: 7 Years Now

By Miles Terry1470858950643

As we continue to bring you analysis this week of our recent win in the IRS case , we are reminded of how much this issue has developed since it was first discovered. To be clear – the Obama Administration’s IRS targeting of Tea Party and other grassroots conservative groups is one of the longest...

read more

Victory Over Obama Admin's IRS Targeting

By Jay Sekulow1470429752294

We just secured a major victory in federal appeals court against the Obama Administration’s IRS. The court unequivocally agreed with our position that the IRS’s targeting of conservatives has not ended and that our clients – numerous conservative, Tea Party, and pro-life groups – deserve to have...

read more

The “Black Hole” of the IRS Scandal

By Miles Terry1470248910379

New information released earlier this week sheds new light on the Obama Administration’s targeting of conservative groups by the IRS. Documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by a watchdog group (which can be viewed here ) establish that IRS officials “orchestrated a...

read more

Johnson Amendment and Churches’ Freedoms

By Michelle Terry1469544702518

Did you know there’s a little-known amendment that has been restricting the First Amendment rights of churches and faith-based organizations for more than 60 years? After it was mentioned during last week’s Republican National Convention, many people have been discussing this so-called Johnson...

read more