May 7, 2015
Judges Shocked by IRS Conduct Against Pro-Israel Group – Editorial
On Monday, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals eviscerated the IRS and Justice Department during oral argument in a case alleging the agency delayed the tax-exempt application of a pro-Israel group due to its policy views. In December 2009, “Z Street” applied for 501(c)(3) status to pursue its pro-Israel educational mission. In July 2010, when the group called to check on what was taking so long with its application, an IRS agent said that auditors had been instructed to give special attention to groups connected with Israel. Z Street sued the IRS for viewpoint discrimination.
Chief Judge Merrick Garland told government lawyer Teresa McLaughlin: “Imagine the IRS announces today a policy that says as follows: No application by a Jewish group or an African-American group will be considered until one day short of the period under the statute….Is it your view that that cannot be challenged?” “If I were you, I would go back and ask your superiors whether they want us to represent that the government’s position in this case is that the government is free to unconstitutionally discriminate against its citizens for 270 days.” (Wall Street Journal)