Is this related to the retirement of Lois Lerner? I don’t know, but it seems that the Obama administration has decided to cut its losses on the IRS. The Department of Justice told a federal court on Friday that it is conceding in the lawsuit brought by True the Vote, Inc., and will grant True the Vote 501(c)(3) status. True the Vote’s press release explains:
TTV, the nation’s leading voters’ rights organization, filed with the IRS for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in July 2010 and has been awaiting a decision on its application for more than three years. After discovering in May, 2013, that its application was part of a much larger scheme targeting perceived ‘tea party’ organizations for heightened scrutiny and years of delay in processing their applications, TTV filed suit in federal district court in Washington, D.C. requesting that the Court order that its tax-exempt status be granted.
The Obama administration says that now that it has given up, the case is moot and should be dismissed. True the Vote disagrees:
Cleta Mitchell, lead counsel in the litigation, and a partner at Foley & Lardner, LLP in Washington, DC, responded to the DOJ filings by noting, “While we are glad the IRS has realized TTV’s tax exempt status should be granted and is now moving to rectify its failure to do sooner, this case is far from moot. There are still many questions to be answered, such as:
* When is the IRS going to actually issue its letter granting tax exempt status to True the Vote?
* What about the costs and damages incurred by True the Vote for the past three years while the IRS unlawfully delayed issuing the letter of recognition?
* What about all of the confidential and proprietary information sought and demanded from True the Vote that the Treasury Inspector General has stated was not necessary for determining True the Vote’s eligibility for exempt status, and which is now apparently going to be made public?
* What about the violation of True the Vote’s constitutional rights by the IRS and its agents and employees during the course of these last 3 years?
“This lawsuit is about getting to the truth and we are not going to stop until we find out the answers to these and many other questions,” added Ms. Mitchell.
Two comments. First, Foley & Lardner is a big-time law firm. It is good to see conservative organizations who are harassed by the federal government getting representation comparable to that afforded (for free) to, for example, terrorists detained at Guantanamo Bay.
Second, True the Vote is an important organization that tries to preserve ballot integrity. Without 501(c)(3) status, it seems obvious that contributions to TTV were depressed for three years, while the IRS improperly stalled. Did this stratagem help the Democrats to steal one or more elections? Certainly the Obama administration hoped so; that is why Obama’s politicized IRS stalled TTV’s application. Perhaps Glenn Reynolds is right: maybe President Obama’s re-election was hopelessly tainted by the illegal and unconstitutional actions that his administration took to try to assure his second term. Maybe Obama really is, as James Taranto called him, President Asterisk.