After years of stalling, a federal appeals court has finally ruled that President Barack Obama’s IRS will have to turn over documents related to a tea party group it allegedly targeted for its political leanings.
In a unanimous ruling by the Cincinnati-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit Thursday, the agency was given two weeks to turn over the documents in a class-action suit headed by the NorCal Tea Party Patriots.
According to Fox News, the court’s opinion also criticized the Department of Justice’s conduct in the case.
“The lawyers in the Department of Justice have a long and storied tradition of defending the nation’s interests and enforcing its laws … The conduct of the IRS’s attorneys in the district court falls outside that tradition,” the opinion noted acidly.
Mark Meckler is president of Citizens for Self-Governance, which has helped fund the lawsuit. He says that it’s about time that the documents on the IRS’ political targeting were turned over.
“We are very pleased that the 6th Circuit had smacked down the IRS and its thuggish DOJ lawyers,” Meckler said. He added that the IRS is an “unredeemable organization.”
The decision got a lot of people excited, especially at the prospect that we may see former IRS head Lois Lerner finally tried for her alleged crimes.
The NorCal Tea Party Patriots suit began in 2013 after a Treasury inspector ruled that the Internal Revenue Service had unfairly targeted conservative groups, particularly those associated with the tea party movement.
The IRS stalled, though, claiming that releasing the names and organizations on their “Be on the Look Out” list would violate privacy rules. The tea party groups claimed that the IRS was merely stalling, and the judges agreed.
“The district court ordered production of those lists, and did so again over an IRS motion to reconsider. Yet, almost a year later, the IRS still has not complied with the court’s orders. Instead the IRS now seeks from this court a writ of mandamus, an extraordinary remedy reserved to correct only the clearest abuses of power by a district court,” Judge Raymond Kethledge wrote in his opinion. “We deny the petition.”
So finally, we’ll begin seeing some justice for what the IRS did … provided, of course, they don’t decide to claim that the list was “deleted” during a hard drive crash.
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