Friday, May 20, 2016

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes - Who guards the people from the "guardian" governmental officials? Further IRS follies

"...despite the IRS’s claim that it got rid of its infamous targeting lists, there is “absolutely no showing” that the agency has in fact stopped using the underlying “criteria” that originally “identified and targeted for mistreatment based on political views.”

The hearing also showed the degree to which the IRS has doubled down on its outrageous revisionist history, and its excuses."

The hearing referred to is before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The paired cases in the hearing were Linchpins of Liberty, et al. v. United States of America, et al. and True the Vote Inc. v. Internal Revenue Service, et al.

"At one point, an incredulous Judge Sentelle (one of the Appeals Court Judges) noted that the IRS might be more believable if it had ever shown “a bit more contrition.” He said: “The Court would have to be awfully ignorant not to recognize that there has likely been an egregious violation of the First Amendment rights of American citizens by the IRS, and the IRS to this day seems very resistant to acknowledgment of that.”

An IRS lawyer rolled out the defense used by former agency official Lois Lerner that the targeting was just the unfortunate use of “inappropriate” criteria, but Judge Sentelle reminded the lawyer of the IRS’s vindictiveness. He noted that on one occasion the IRS simply shelved the application of an organization that had sued it. The agency “came to Court not having done anything to eliminate” the problem, he said, so “It’s just hard to find the IRS to be an agency we can trust, isn’t it?”

Judge Sentelle said there is a “pretty good case” that “egregious violations of the Constitution” had been committed, and he dared an IRS lawyer to “stand there with a straight face” and say otherwise. Judge Ginsburg, who spent the hearing catching out the IRS’s conflicting statements, at one point simply asked: “How much has really changed?”

For the full review of the particulars of this case see:

And for another recent Supreme Court decision against administrative abuses see the following ruling, this time against Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for abusive litigation,  EEOC having been called by some "government’s most abusive agency."

Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that “it would make little sense if Congress’ policy of ‘sparing defendants from the costs of frivolous litigation’ depended on the distinction between merits-based and non-merits-based frivolity.”

Here are several reviews of this case: