Court Finds IRS Actions Unconstitutional, Awards TTV Increased Fees Based on “Bad Faith Enhancement”
The True the Vote v. IRS lawsuit has finally come to a close with a stunning ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton ruling in favor of True the Vote; penalizing the IRS with maximum attorneys fees due to their unconstitutional discrimination against the group and their unethical behavior in the case.
This decision marks the end of a nearly decade long battle that first began in 2010, when federal government agencies including the IRS, DOJ, FBI, ATF, OSHA weaponized against True the Vote and its founder, Catherine Engelbrecht. Under Obama Administration leadership, the agencies leveled a barrage of attacks, including twenty-three audits, investigations, and inquiries, against the group in an attempt to stop their work in election integrity.
In 2013, True the Vote brought suit against the IRS, seeking to prove that IRS actions were unconstitutional. The ensuing fight cost millions and nearly destroyed the only conservative voters rights organization in America.
True the Vote’s founder Catherine Engelbrecht said, “At the outset of this case, I testified before Congress and swore that I would never retreat or surrender. Today I have fulfilled that oath. Thank you to all the citizens across the country who stood steadfastly beside us. We could not have done it without your support.”
United States District Judge Reggie B. Walton signed a Consent Order that included the IRS admission of wrongdoing and affirmed that prejudice on the basis of an applicant’s name, association, or political viewpoint is an unconstitutional violation of First Amendment rights. Then, in a stunning rebuke of the IRS actions that led to this litigation, Judge Walton also ruled that True the Vote is entitled to a “bad faith enhancement” to its requested attorney’s fees. Judge Walton’s opinion held there is “clear and convincing evidence necessary for a finding of bad faith on the part of [the IRS]” in their discrimination against True the Vote. While the exact amount to be awarded is still pending, True the Vote’s application under the Equal Access to Justice Act requested the recovery of $1.9 million in attorneys’ fees.
“This ruling is a victory for all Americans,” says Engelbrecht. “Government cannot be allowed to run roughshod over the Constitutional rights of American citizens.”
James Bopp, Jr. of The Bopp Law Firm, Counsel for True the Vote, says “The D.C. District Court rejected the DOJ’s argument that True the Vote did not win this litigation battle.” Bopp also applauds “Judge Walton’s opinion which held not only that the IRS’s actions were not substantially justified, but were also rooted in ‘bad faith.’ The Court’s judgment that True the Vote won this litigation coupled with its opinion that the IRS acted in bad faith should be a warning to bureaucrats that the U.S. Constitution protects everyone, regardless of ideology.”
Brock Akers, of The Akers Firm, Counsel for True the Vote, says “The conduct of the IRS and the government was nothing short of shocking. This ruling ought to reflect a collective sigh of relief from everyone that the judicial system really can be turned to for a just end to this nightmare. Check one in favor of Justice v. Swamp.”
With this decade long battle behind True the Vote, the organization will now turn its effort to the 2020 election cycle, partnering with Our Values, a veterans’ rights organization founded by Benghazi hero Mark “Oz” Geist. The collaboration will focus on active and veteran military voter registration, recruiting and training for volunteer service as poll workers, and other GOTV activities targeted to mobilizing military and veteran families in the 2020 election.
Again, thank you to all the citizens across the country who stood steadfastly beside us for all these years! We could not have stayed standing without your support!