HOUSTON, TX. – August 5, 2016: True the Vote (TTV), the nation's leading voters’ rights and election integrity organization, today praised the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia’s ruling in True the Vote v. IRS, reversing key rulings against the organization’s prior claims and remanding the case back to trial.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia originally dismissed True the Vote’s lawsuit after finding that IRS targeting had fully ceased, therefore mooting TTV’s civil rights claims based on assurances of internal reform from the tax agency. The appellate court panel reversed that finding in scathing detail:
“It being plain to the Inspector General, the district court, and this court that the IRS cannot defend its discriminatory conduct on the merits, the governing issue is now whether the controversy is moot. The district court held that it was; we conclude that it is not.”
The difference between a ceased discriminatory scheme versus a ‘restive’ one:
“There is a difference between the controversy having gone away, and simply being in a restive stage. This difference gives rise to the concept of ‘voluntary cessation.’ That concept governs the case in which the defendant actor is not committing the controversial conduct at the moment of the litigation, but ‘the defendant is ‘free to return to [its] old ways’—thereby subjecting the plaintiff to the same harm but, at the same time, avoiding judicial review … Here, voluntary cessation has never occurred.”
The ‘absurd’ belief that IRS has ceased its targeting of pro-liberty groups:
“It is absurd to suggest that the effect of the IRS’s unlawful conduct, which delayed the processing of appellant-plaintiffs’ applications, has been eradicated when two of the appellant-plaintiffs’ applications remain pending.”
On the dangers of letting the IRS skate based on a promise it has changed its ways:
“A violation of right that is ‘suspended until further notice’ has not become the subject of voluntary cessation, with no reasonable expectation of resumption, so as to moot litigation against the violation of rights. Rather, it has at most advised the victim of the violation – ‘you’re alright for now, but there may be another shoe falling’.”
True the Vote welcomed the ruling as a positive step toward justice after its First Amendment rights were violated by the IRS, dating back to 2010.
“Today's ruling is a tremendous victory for True the Vote. We are now closer than we've ever been to revealing the collusions and cover-ups used in the weaponization of the IRS against the American People,” True the Vote Founder Catherine Engelbrecht said. “This lawsuit has been a struggle every step of the way, but is a battle that must be fought. When a rogue government sets out to silence its citizens and deny them their Constitutional rights, we all suffer for it. No one should be subjected to what True the Vote was made to endure. Today our fight continues on behalf of all Americans.”
The appellate ruling will leave seven days to pass before being sent back to the trial court – should the IRS wish to appeal to the full circuit for an en banc hearing.
A copy of the opinion may be read, here.
True the Vote (TTV) is an IRS-designated 501(c)(3) voters’ rights organization, founded to inspire and equip voters for involvement at every stage of our electoral process. TTV empowers organizations and individuals across the nation to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation. For more information, please visit www.truethevote.org.
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