WETUMPKA, Ala. — Becky Gerritson, President of the Wetumpka TEA Party, called Thursday’s U.S. District Court’s ruling to dismiss two lawsuits against the IRS by dozens of tea parties and other conservative groups “outrageous.”
The IRS’s targeting of conservatives first came to the public’s attention in May of 2013, when Lois Lerner, then head of the IRS’s Tax Exempt Office, admitted that her office had withheld tax exempt status from numerous conservative groups around the country. One of those groups was central Alabama’s Wetumpka Tea Party, led by Becky Gerritson. In 2013, the Wetumpka TEA Party joined 40 other targeted conservative groups in filing a law suit against the IRS for its actions.
“When you look at the allegations in our lawsuit along with evidence uncovered by Congressional committees and Judicial Watch, it is undeniable that the IRS is guilty of wrongdoing,” Gerritson said today in a statement. “However, Judge Walton basically said that since we finally received our tax status (after almost 2 years of waiting) that we now have no case. That’s like a judge telling a burglary victim, that even though she was robbed 2 years ago; since she does not currently have the thieves in her house, she has no case. This ruling is unbelievable! It’s so much more than just a delay of a tax exempt status; it’s about the IRS, a government agency, being used as a weapon against its citizens, i.e. violating our constitutional rights, invading our privacy, bullying and intimidating us, mishandling and leaking our confidential taxpayer information etc., not to mention the ensuing cover-up; and we cannot fight back…we have no recourse.”
Gerritson said the judge did not base the dismissal decision on the merits of the case, but rather on procedural grounds. In fact, the judge wrote that “The court’s opinion should not be interpreted as an assessment of the propriety of the alleged conduct by the defendants,” but added that “unless an actual, ongoing controversy exists in this case, this court is without power to decide it.”
“It’s unfathomable that the IRS, one of the most feared government agencies in America, was able to engage in a massive, years-long illegal targeting scheme against everyday American’s and get away with it scot-free,” Gerritson said. “This is a huge blow to Americans’ liberty. If the IRS was allowed to target and harass Americans on such a large scale with no repercussions then what will stop them in the future?”
The conservative groups, whose case is being handled by the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), plan to appeal the court’s decision.
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