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Court says IRS must prove it stopped tea party targeting

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A federal appeals court slapped the IRS with yet another rebuke Friday, ruling that it did, in fact, discriminate against tea party groups and insisting the tax agency prove that it’s permanently stopped the unconstitutional targeting of groups because of their political leanings.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said tea party groups can’t sue individual IRSemployees such as former senior executive Lois G. Lerner, but said the tax agency itself has not sufficiently proved that it has banned any future targeting. The three-judge panel sent the case back to a lower court for a more thorough ruling.

The IRS had insisted it “voluntarily” ceased the targeting, so the case was moot.

But Judge David B. Sentelle, writing for the appeals court, said that was clearly not the case because some organizations were still awaiting approval years after they applied. And he flatly rejected theIRS’s explanation that those groups couldn’t be processed because they were suing the IRS, calling that a classic catch-22.

“The IRS is telling the applicants in these cases that ‘we have been violating your rights and not properly processing your applications. You are entitled to have your applications processed – READ MORE

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