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For Immediate Release
May 29, 2013
|Contact: Eric WilsonCell Phone: 859-983-5190
ACLJ FILES FEDERAL LAWSUIT AGAINST the IRS ON BEHALF OF Kentucky 9/12 Project.
Washington DC – The American Center for Law and Justice today filed a significant lawsuit in federal court in Washington, D.C. on behalf of Kentucky 9/12 Project and conservative organizations against the U.S. Attorney General, Treasury Secretary, and Internal Revenue Service – including top IRS officials.
“The IRS overreach and intimidation we experienced is a clear indication that this agency philosophically rejects the flow of authority crafted into our system of government. Their arrogant actions run contrary to the concept of a government of the people instituted to secure inalienable rights with just power deriving from the consent of the governed,” said Lisa Abler Vice President of Kentucky 9/12 project. “This disregard for the most fundamental principles of our nation must be rectified.”
Eric Wilson the Executive Director for Kentucky 9/12 Project said “This will give power back to everyday people. After being targeted and held hostage by this administration at the arms of the IRS for over two years, we want them to not only be held accountable but prevent this from happening to any other group or citizens in the future.”
In the lawsuit, the ACLJ cites six counts arguing the federal government violated the constitution, federal law, and even its own rules and regulations.
The suit contends that the Obama Administration “unlawfully delayed and thereby effectively denied approval of Kentucky 9/12 Project applications for tax exempt status by means of a comprehensive, pervasive, invidious and organized scheme that purposefully established unnecessary and burdensome inquiries and scrutiny of Kentucky 9/12 Project applications based solely upon Kentucky 9/12 Project’ political viewpoints (or Defendants’ assumption of Kentucky 9/12 Project viewpoints, based on their organizational names).”
“The IRS and the federal government are not going to get away with this unlawful targeting of conservative groups,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “As this unconstitutional scheme continues even today, the only way to stop this flagrant and arrogant abuse of our clients’ rights is to file a federal lawsuit which we have done. The lawsuit sends a very powerful message to the IRS and the Obama Administration – including the White House: Americans are not going to be bullied and intimidated by our government. They will not be subjected to unconstitutional treatment and unlawfully singled out and punished because of their ideological beliefs. Those responsible for this unprecedented intimidation ploy must be held accountable.”
The lawsuit urges the court to find that the Obama Administration overstepped its authority and violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the Administrative Procedure Act, as well as violating the IRS’s own rules and regulations. The lawsuit requests a declaratory judgment that the defendants unlawfully delayed and obstructed the organization’s applications for a determination of tax-exempt status by means of conduct that was based on unconstitutional criteria and impermissibly disparate treatment of the groups the ACLJ represents. The suit also seeks injunctive relief to protect their clients – and their officers and directors – from further IRS abuse or retaliation. Further, the lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive monetary damages to be determined at trial at a later date.
The ACLJ represents a total of 25 organizations in the lawsuit, with additional groups likely to be added to the suit as it progresses. The Kentucky 9/12 Project was one of the first groups to be singled out and scrutinized by the IRS in early 2012 and worked closely with the ACLJ in a resolution and now justice in their case.
The ACLJ and Kentucky 9/12 Project lists as defendants in the case: U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, the Internal Revenue Service; Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew; Steven Miller, former acting commissioner of the IRS; Lois Lerner, Director of Exempt Organizations Division for the IRS; Holly Paz, Director, Office of Rulings and Agreements; and unknown named officials inside the IRS.
Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), focusing on constitutional law, is based in Washington, D.C. and is online at www.aclj.org
For more information about The Kentucky 9/12 Project, please visit their website at www.ky912.com
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If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with:
The Kentucky 9/12 Project – Eric Wilson (Executive Director KY912) at 859-983-5190
Or contact ACLJ through their press secretary