]The IRS not only lost their case in the DC Appeals Court, they were spanked and spanked hard. The judges did not accept the IRS’s contention that they quit targeting conservatives, so the lawsuit is moot. The judged contended if the harassment had actually ended the IRS wouldn’t have so many of the groups left without a decision for the past four years. A lower court ruled that the case was moot.
Then, the IRS said that they could not make a decision on those groups because they have sued them. This is the point at which the judges ripped them badly. They had created a Catch 22 situation for the plaintiffs. They were forced to sue in order to get an answer on their application and then the IRS. The IRS then said that they could not process those applications because of the lawsuit, The judges were not amused.
The first two paragraph of the decision is reflective of the judge’s disdain with the DOJ lawyers handling the case:
KETHLEDGE, Circuit Judge. Among the most serious allegations a federal court can address are that an Executive agency has targeted citizens for mistreatment based on their political views. No citizen—Republican or Democrat, socialist or libertarian—should be targeted or even have to fear being targeted on those grounds. Yet those are the grounds on which the plaintiffs allege they were mistreated by the IRS here. The allegations are substantial:most are drawn from findings made by the Treasury Department’s own Inspector General for Tax Administration. Those findings include that the IRS used political criteria to round up applications for tax-exempt status filed by so-called tea-party groups; that the IRS often took four times as long to process tea-party applications as other applications; and that the IRS served tea-party applicants with crushing demands for what the Inspector General called “unnecessary information.
”Yet in this lawsuit the IRS has only compounded the conduct that gave rise to it. The plaintiffs seek damages on behalf of themselves and other groups whose applications the IRS treated in the manner described by the Inspector General. The lawsuit has progressed as slowly as the underlying applications themselves: at every turn the IRS has resisted the plaintiffs’requests for information regarding the IRS’s treatment of the plaintiff class, eventually to the open frustration of the district court. At issue here are IRS “Be On the Lookout” lists of organizations allegedly targeted for unfavorable treatment because of their political beliefs.Those organizations in turn make up the plaintiff class. The district court ordered production of those lists, and did so again over an IRS motion to reconsider. Yet, almost a year later, the IRS still has not complied with the court’s orders. Instead the IRS now seeks from this court a writ of mandamus, an extraordinary remedy reserved to correct only the clearest abuses of power by a district court. We deny the petition.
Friday’s decision, barring an appeal to the full court, will allow full discovery to True the Vote. They will have to be given all of the information they request and none of it can be redacted. Let’s see if the IRS tries to settle the class action suit before that can happen.