- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The American Center for Law and Justice amended its lawsuit in federal court against the Internal Revenue Service to add another 16 tea party and conservative groups on its plaintiff list — bringing the total of aggrieved to 41.

The suit, alleging the IRS violated constitutional law with its secret targeting of conservative groups, was initially filed on May 20 with 25 plaintiffs. But more have come forward.

“The floodgates opened after we filed our initial lawsuit,” said Jay Sekulow, the chief counsel for the ACLJ, in a press release. “We have been contacted by many additional organizations that have been unlawfully targeted by the IRS — revealing that this unconstitutional scheme was pervasive and damaging.”

Mr. Sekulow said he is confident the American public will eventually learn the truth of who exactly ordered that conservative groups be targeted — and to what extent the White House knew of the targeting.

“How could the White House counsel and White House chief of staff know about this tactic, but the president did not? We remain dedicated to ensuring that those responsible for this unconscionable scheme are held accountable,” Mr. Sekulow said.

The ACLJ’s amended complaint states: IRS agents “working in offices from California to Washington, D.C., pulled applications from conservative organizations, delaying processing those applications for sometimes well over a year, then made probing and unconstitutional requests for additional information that often required applicants to disclose, among other things, donor lists, direct and indirect communications with members of legislative bodies, Internet passwords and user names, copies of social media and other Internet postings, and even the political and charitable activities of family members.”

At least one pro-life group was added to the complaint, Mr. Sekulow said. The claim is that AMEN, or Abortion Must End Now, was targeted for its obvious opposition to the procedure, he said.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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