web analytics
December 25, 2014 / 3 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



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.


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.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The 13th issue of Al Qaeda's 'Inspire' online English-language magazine.
Al Qaeda Urges ‘Lone Wolves’ via Magazine to Attack US Airliners
Latest News Stories
(Archive photo) Nachal infantry soldiers on the Golan Heights, with tanks in the background.

In operation Protective Edge, infantry and armored units worked side-by-side. A new training program hopes to integrate them even better on the battlefield.

It takes an average of 140 monthly salaries to buy a home. Ariel plans to lower that down to 85.

ring and heart

United Synagogue Youth teen board members are told ban is lifted on dating non-Jews, but “important” to date within the faith.

The 13th issue of Al Qaeda's 'Inspire' online English-language magazine.

The latest edition of Al Qaeda’s online magazine urges lone wolf attacks on US airlines.

The Flemish Minister for Animal Welfare Ben Weyts has reversed his call for a ban on Jewish ritual slaughter in Belgium.

Ambassador Michael Oren is the first person to join Moshe Kachlon’s new political party, Kulanu.

Israel issued a grim warning to Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorists Wednesday over an attack that led to a major clash.

In case of a medical emergency, one should call the MDA hotline at 03-734-4005.

“Islamic State continues to try to take over more areas close to Iraq and Turkey,” Khatib said.

Beit Hadassah was built by Jews in 1893 as a local medical clinic.

Rosenblatt and several Jewish residents of the neighborhood visited the station on the seventh night of Chanukah to show their support after the murder Saturday of two police officers in neighboring Bedford-Stuyvesant.

Obama’s new attitude, as Gleijeses sees it, may have implications for the U.S. role in the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Four PA Arabs with captured with pipe bombs on them.

Livni’s party is now down to 2 MKs (from 6). What did Herzog buy that was so expensive?

I’m going to recommend Velcro or sticky strips to Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett. He’s always checking to see if his Kipa fell off. In the photo are President of Israel, Ruby Rivlin (L) and Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett (R) during a “Outstanding Exporter” prize award ceremony held at the President’s residence in Jerusalem […]

The Prime Minister will appeal the decision by the party’s comptroller.

More Articles from Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Yaron Sidman, (center) Israel's Consul General for Philadelphia and the 5 state surrounding area, spoke to a hundreds strong crowd at Adath Israel in Suburban Philadelphia, Dec. 17, 2014. State Senator Anthony Williams (left, rear), waiting to speak.

Philly synagogue unites community in honoring slain Israelis

A third assault in France in which assailant yelled "Allahu Akbar" before attacking others.

Driver shouting “Allahu Akbar” plows into pedestrian in third such attack in France in 3 days

Man shouting “Allahu Akbar” drives car into crowd in the French city of Dijon.

Prosecutor in Ferguson case said ‘some witnesses lied under oath’ to support officer’s version of events.

Harvard announced it will “look into” its boycott of SodaStream. But will it remove the boycott?

Harvard boycotts SodaStream to avoid offense to Palestinian Arab students.

Report determines mosque fire blamed on “Jewish settlers” was actually an electrical fire.

Hundreds of schoolchildren killed or wounded in Taliban attack on Pakistani school.

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: