Tuesday, June 25, 2013

IRS "Scandal" Developments and Viewpoint Discrimination Under the First Amendment

Recall the lawsuits filed against the IRS alleging viewpoint discrimination prohibited under the First Amendment for targeting "conservative" and "tea party" groups' application under  26 U.S.C. § 501(c) for tax exempt status? 

New developments may make those allegations much more difficult to prove.  The IRS "Be On the Look Out" - - - BOLO - - - lists also included groups that could be described as "Progressives" :

Common thread is the word “progressive.”  Activities appear to lean toward a new political party.  Activities are partisan and appear anti-Republican.  You see references to “blue” as being “progressive.” 

And continues that "“progressive” activities appear to show that (c)(3) may not be appropriate."

There is more from the House Ways and Means Ranking Committee Member Sander Levin in an eleven page memo.

Without the viewpoint discrimination claim, there is little to support a First Amendment challenge.  There seemingly cannot be a content challenge, for after all, content is at the heart of  §501(c) tax exemptions, which may be why some advocate for the provision's repeal.  

[image: Carl Guttenberg's 1778 engraving "The Tea-Tax-Tempest" via]


Current Affairs, First Amendment, Speech | Permalink

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