Citizens United president vows to file lawsuit against IRS for restrictive new nonprofit rules

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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The conservative nonprofit advocacy group Citizens United plans to sue the IRS over the agency’s stringent new regulations on 501(c)(4) nonprofit groups.

“I can commit with certitude that Citizens United will not sit by while any government agency tries to violate our 1st Amendment rights,” Citizens United president David Bossie told the Center for Public Integrity. “We have a proven track record of winning, and we’re not afraid to take the fight to them. You’ll see a Citizens United v. IRS.”

Bossie said that it is “too early” to get into the details of his legal strategy, but that his group plans to “pull out all the stops.”

Citizens United, formed in 1988 and based in Washington, D.C., is best known for winning the landmark 2010 Supreme Court case affirming that the government cannot limit political expenditures by corporations or unions, on First Amendment grounds.

The new IRS nonprofit rules place would place much more stringent controls on what would be considered political activity by the IRS, effectively limiting the standard practices of a wide array of non-profit groups.

The Daily Caller reported that the Treasury Department and embattled former IRS official Lois Lerner started devising the rules in secret in 2012, while the IRS was wrongly targeting conservative groups. Claims by multiple attorneys accuse the new rules of violating the federal Paperwork Reduction Act.

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