Atheists Can Sue IRS Over Failure To Enforce Limits On Churches’ Political Speech

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The Freedom From Religion Foundation took home an important victory on Monday, when a federal judge in Wisconsin ruled that the group could proceed with its lawsuit over the Internal Revenue Service's alleged failure to enforce a ban on partisan politicking by tax-exempt religious groups.


The IRS had earlier filed a motion to dismiss the case, which the national foundation for atheists and agnostics had filed after the November elections last year. U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman denied the motion on Monday, writing that the FFRF "has standing to seek an order requiring the IRS to treat religious organizations no more favorably than it treats the Foundation."

Tax-exempt religious organizations, as well as other educational and charitable groups registered under 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code, are prohibited from partisan electioneering. The FFRF suit contends that the IRS is failing to enforce that restriction particularly when it comes to churches, which the group argues constitutes a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment. The suit also claims that the alleged IRS inaction undermines equal protection rights by giving preferential treatment to tax-exempt religious organizations over other 501(c)(3) groups, including the FFRF.

Written By: Nick Wing
continue to source article at huffingtonpost.com

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  1. Gosh! I admire the FFrF!Like the “Scarlet Pimpernel”,you see them here, you see them there.They fight gallantly for justice and liberty.May the Force be with them!!!

  2. There are times when I criticize some atheist groups in the US for what I think are pointless symbolic lawsuits. This is definitely not such a case. Its about time this was taken to court. The Obama justice department or the IRS should have dealt with these scofflaws a long time ago, in fact this goes back at least to the Bush administration. The problem is the Republicans have no incentive to take this to court since it benefits them and the Democrats are too afraid of being branded as anti-religious to do it so I’m glad the FFRF people are taking up the fight.

    • In reply to #2 by Red Dog:

      There are times when I criticize some atheist groups in the US for what I think are pointless symbolic lawsuits. This is definitely not such a case. Its about time this was taken to court. The Obama justice department or the IRS should have dealt with these scofflaws a long time ago, in fact this go…

      Yes this is a hundred times more important than suing over nativity scenes and “god” on the money. Dishonest political propaganda being spread through megachurches causes government programs to be cut back, causes draconian laws to be enacted, and causes ultra-right-wing candidates to win elections who otherwise might not have won. Real damage is caused by this.

  3. Yes!! Go get ‘em Annie! A lot rests on this case. If they win, this will establish the required jurisprudence for the following court cases. It seems that the most important battles for democracy are fought more and more at grass-roots level and less and less in the legislature. An important lesson for the future I think.

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