The IRS is still holding up the nonprofit applications of tea party groups, including one that has been waiting nearly six years for approval, as conservatives panned the Justice Department’s announcement last week that it had cleared the tax agency, and former senior executive Lois G. Lerner, of any wrongdoing.
The Obama administration’s decision, outlined in a Friday afternoon letter to Congress, said the IRS did mishandle nonprofit status applications from conservative groups but said the bad behavior wasn’t criminal.
Still, the decision does not end the legal jeopardy for the tax agency, nor does it quell the political battle in which the IRS has lost billions of dollars in funding from a Congress that remains troubled by employees’ behavior.
Several lawsuits, including one seeking to be certified as a class action, are still pending against the IRS.
“It’s no wonder why so many Americans have had it with Washington and the elite political class who can get away with something like this,” said Mark Meckler, president of Citizens for Self-Governance and one of the organizers of the class-action lawsuit.
Yet another case is pending before a federal appeals court after tea party challengers lost at the district court level, where the judge ruled that the IRS targeting stopped in 2013 so there was no longer a case to be decided.
That was news to the Albuquerque Tea Party, which applied for nonprofit status in December 2009 and is still awaiting approval, according to the group’s attorneys at the American Center for Law and Justice. Another of the center’s clients, Unite in Action, an Ohio group, has been waiting more than three years for approval.
“It’s an outrage — a mockery of justice,” Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, wrote in a Web memo. The center is pursuing a case on behalf of those and 36 other groups.
Americans are tired of being ruled by an elite, un-elected political class in Washington. It's time to put the power back where it belongs -- with the states and the people. We can do it with an Article V Convention of States.