'True the Vote v. IRS' Lawyer: 'The Deep State Is Still Operating'
A prominent constitutional attorney is sounding the alarm over Obama administration-style behavior by attorneys in President Trump's new administration. Jim Bopp, Jr., the attorney for the plaintiff in the landmark Citizens United suit, told PJ Media that he has seen no change in the attitude of government attorneys since Trump's inauguration:
The Deep State is still operating, no question.
I see no evidence the attitude of the IRS has changed. We have a new attorney general, and the Department of Justice is providing the lawyers to defend the IRS in this case. We've seen no change.
Bopp is currently involved with two similarly high-profile suits against the federal government and he says the Trump administration's defense attorneys are presenting arguments indistinguishable from those he faced during Obama's tenure.
In True the Vote v. IRS, election integrity watchdog True the Vote sued the federal government in 2013 over its targeting of pro-liberty non-profit groups for extra scrutiny. This case has wide implications for all non-profits that claimed their tax status was denied or delayed by Lois Lerner and a rogue IRS. Bopp is also an attorney on Louisiana Republican Party v. Federal Elections Commission, which targets some of the vestiges of McCain-Feingold that have yet to be found unconstitutional.
It boggles the mind that the IRS in a Trump administration would still be defending the actions of Lois Lerner and the notorious branch in Cincinnati. They had burdened groups with "Tea Party," "Liberty," "Constitution," and other related words in their title with mountains of extra paperwork to affirm their non-profit tax status. Yet, according to Bopp, that is indeed the case.
Bopp says similar stall tactics are being employed in Louisiana Republican Party by the lawyers representing the FEC:
The issue is, in the Supreme Court, the solicitor general's office is the one that does the briefing. The solicitor general's office is now under the Trump administration. They just filed a brief that was right out of the deep recesses of the FEC, making the same specious arguments that would prevent us from striking down some parts of McCain-Feingold. I don't see any change.
Louisiana is the latest in a series of suits Bopp has worked on successfully attacking McCain-Feingold on constitutional grounds:
Wisconsin Right to Life v. FEC [is] what blew the door open because the court ruled unanimously that as applied challenges, testing the application of the law in certain circumstances, could be brought even though the law had been upheld on its face. The result of that decision was a narrowing down of the corporate prohibition. Then I brought Citizens United, which then struck those limits down.
We're now challenging the limits on state and local parties doing traditional election related activities -- voter registration, voter identification, "get out the vote" activity, those type of generic campaign activities. What McCain-Feingold says is you have to use federal money, not state-regulated money. What we say is that that law requiring separately regulated funds is unconstitutional as applied to doing those activities independently of a federal candidate.