An advocacy group has filed a lawsuit in a Washington, D.C., federal court on behalf of 25 Tea Party and conservative organizations against the Internal Revenue Service and top IRS officials, in addition to the U.S. Attorney General and Treasury Secretary, arguing that the Obama administration overstepped its authority in subjecting applications for tax-exempt status from Tea Party groups to extra scrutiny.

The lawsuit, from the American Center for Law and Justice, urges the court to find that the Obama administration violated the First and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, the Administrative Procedure Act, along with the IRS’s own rules and regulations. The lawsuit requests a declaratory judgment that the defendants unlawfully delayed and obstructed the organizations’ applications for a determination of tax-exempt status by means of conduct that was based on unconstitutional criteria and impermissibly disparate treatment of the groups. The suit also seeks injunctive relief to protect its clients—and their officers and directors—from further IRS abuse or retaliation. Further, the lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive monetary damages to be determined at trial at a later date.

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