News & Politics

Tea Party Class-Action Suit Against IRS to Go Forward

Lois Lerner (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

A federal judge in Ohio has certified a class-action suit against the Internal Revenue Service for its harassment of conservative organizations:

A federal judge on Tuesday certified a class-action lawsuit against the IRS for its political targeting, advancing the cause of more than 200 tea party groups who said they were denied their First Amendment rights by the tax agency’s actions. Judge Susan J. Dlott in the Southern District of Ohio issued an order certifying the class, though she sealed the order for now to protect private taxpayer information.

Edward Greim, one of the lawyers advancing the tea party groups’ case, said the certification is a major step because it means the judge has agreed that the IRS did systematically target more than 200 groups for special scrutiny. “It’s the court recognizing that all the plaintiffs were treated the same way,” he said. “The only remaining question at that point is whether it was legally permissible to treat the plaintiffs that way.”

The IRS said it couldn’t comment on pending litigation.

One of the things Barack Obama learned from the Clintons was that one scandal can you bring you down, but a hundred scandals simply wears out your opponents. The Lois Lerner/IRS attack on the Tea Party should have inflamed every American — but of course it didn’t, because the Left does not believe in principle, but only in brute force. And, whenever possible, the ability to get away with it scot-free.

Certifying the class allows any of the more than 200 groups that were subjected to the criteria to join the lawsuit. Now that the class has been certified, the case moves to the discovery stage, where the tea party groups’ lawyers will ask for all of the agency’s documents related to the targeting and will depose IRS employees about their actions.

The lawyers hope they’ll be able to learn details Congress was unable to shake free in its own investigations. Mr. Greim said he hopes former IRS senior executive Lois G. Lerner will be one of the employees he deposes in the case.

Ms. Lerner was at the center of the targeting, and was the one who revealed the scandal after she planted a question at a forum. She refused to talk to Congress, asserting her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. The House held her in contempt of Congress, but the Obama administration refused to pursue the case.

Hey, around here we don’t call the Democrats a criminal organization masquerading as a political party for nothing.