web analytics
February 28, 2015 / 9 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


IRS Political Discrimination Suit by Pro-Israel Group OKed by Court

The ruling in the Z STREET case by Judge Ketanje Brown Jackson is the first substantive ruling by a judge in any legal action brought challenging the political impartiality of the IRS under the current administration.

The IRS Acting Commissioner will appear before a House Ways and Means Committee hearing on Friday, May 17, 2013, to investigate politicization of the IRS

Federal court Orders IRS to respond to legal complaint of political discrimination, May 27, 2014.
Photo Credit: Lori Lowenthal Marcus

After nearly four years of litigation, a U.S. federal district court judge instructed the Internal Revenue Service to cease “struggl[ing mightly]” to thwart a lawsuit filed by the pro-Israel organization Z STREET. That lawsuit alleges the IRS violated Z STREET’s First Amendment Constitutional rights. The judge ordered the IRS to file a substantive answer to Z STREET’s Complaint within 30 days.

Z STREET* sought tax-exempt status as a non-profit organization engaged in educating the public about Israel and the Middle East conflict. The organization filed its application in December of 2009.

On July 19, 2010, when counsel for Z STREET spoke with the IRS agent to whom the organization’s application had been assigned, that agent said that a determination on Z STREET’s application may be further delayed because the IRS gave “special scrutiny” to organizations connected to Israel and especially to those whose views “contradict those of the administration’s.”

That statement by the IRS agent, according to the Z STREET board, constituted a clear violation of the Constitution. The government may not treat an organization or person differently because of that person or organization’s political viewpoint. Such action by a government entity constitutes what is known as “viewpoint discrimination.”

Z STREET filed a lawsuit against the IRS alleging that its Constitutional rights had been violated. That lawsuit, Z STREET v. Schulman, IRS Commissioner (now Koskinen) has finally obtained its first substantive ruling.

Several years after Z STREET challenged the IRS in court, several tea party and other conservative groups also claimed the IRS had discriminated against them on the basis of their political viewpoint. On May 10 of last year, the floodgates of criticism burst open when then Director of the IRS Exempt Organizations Division Lois Lerner admitted that the IRS had engaged in certain activity that disadvantaged conservative groups. Lerner referred to that activity at the time as “absolutely inappropriate.”

The ruling in the Z STREET case by Judge Ketanje Brown Jackson on Tuesday, May 27, is the first substantive ruling by a judge in any action brought challenging the political impartiality of the IRS under the current administration.

Judge Jackson summarily rejected the three grounds raised by the government in its effort to thwart Z STREET’s day in court. The first two she rejected because she refused to accept the IRS position that Z STREET was simply complaining about the fact that its application had not been granted.

Defendant struggles mightily to transform a lawsuit that clearly challenges the constitutionality of the process that the IRS allegedly employs when it determines the tax exempt status of certain organizations into a dispute over tax liability as a means of attempting to thwart this action’s advancement.

The judge rejected the third defense – one of sovereign immunity – raised by the IRS by pointing out that the government may not claim it is immune from claims that it is acting unconstitutionally. Indeed, that is the basis for the Bill of Rights.

The IRS must file a substantive response to Z STREET’s Complaint by June 26, 2014.

Since the time the lawsuit was filed, IRS documents were released by a U.S. congressman which essentially confirm Z STREET’s claims and suggest that the IRS agents filed documents with the court that were not truthful.

*The author of this article is the president of Z STREET.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “IRS Political Discrimination Suit by Pro-Israel Group OKed by Court”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prays at the Western Wall ahead of his speech next week at the US Congress.
Netanyahu Visits Western Wall before Leaving for US
Latest News Stories
One homeowner's "art" in Sacramento, California.

Free speech is cherished, but hate displays on Sacramento home quite disturbing.

Prime Minister Netanyahu writes the beginning of his speech he will deliver in Congress on Tuesday.

Democrats did not sponsor but also did not try to block the resolution.

israel polls

The Left-Right division remains almost the same, but a National Unity government is also feasible.

Abbas, the one who is short in size and common sense, with Kerry, the one who is tall in size but short on common sense.

Kerry called Abbes about “financial viability” of the Palestinian Authority and efforts “to prevent a crisis.”

“I Respect the President Barak Obama.” That’s what he said. We don’t know what meant.

Three car accident near Beit Shemesh on Saturday evening. At least 10 injured.

On February 10, Nemtsov wrote in a news website, “I’m afraid Putin will kill me.”

‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.

The so-called “Zionist Camp” was accused of having “blood on its hands.”

Actor Leonard Nimoy, 83, “lived long and prospered” but on Friday moved on to explore the Next World.

Iran already has enough centrifuges for a nuclear weapon.

Learning lessons from Protective Edge, Israel is building an underground training field, and will train special units in tunnel warfare.

The unique desert landscape that covers large parts of Israel allow for its positioning as a leading destination for cyclists, with a comfortable climate year-round and spectacular desert scenery.

Once again al Quds’ Said Arikat used the State Dept. Briefing room to slander Israel with false “facts.”

“If no one is infallible, how is it possible that Netanyahu in his opposition to a potential Iran deal is wrong and you guys are all right?”

US Intelligence Chief Says ISIS ‘low priority’ for Turkey.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
One homeowner's "art" in Sacramento, California.

Free speech is cherished, but hate displays on Sacramento home quite disturbing.

Three car collision near Beit Shemesh motzie Shabbat, Feb. 28, 2015.

Three car accident near Beit Shemesh on Saturday evening. At least 10 injured.

Once again al Quds’ Said Arikat used the State Dept. Briefing room to slander Israel with false “facts.”

Netanyahu to meet with bipartisan congressional leadership before he addresses the joint session of Congress on March 3.

Amnesty International: Israel amongst the world’s greatest human rights abusers, seeks to strip the Jewish State of UNSC protection.

Israel’s ambassador is the party pooper as the UN congratulates itself for its 70 year commitment to lofty principles.

Details of the negotiations with Iran reveal Bibi’s warnings correct: this is a very bad deal.

Anti-Semitism on U.S. campuses is widespread, perhaps because Jews are not seen as legitimate victims.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/court-irs-political-discrimination-suit-by-pro-israel-group-oked/2014/05/27/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: