A California Tea Party group has become the first to sue the Internal Revenue Service over the targeting of conservative groups.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati by the NorCal Tea Party Patriots alleges that the IRS violated the constitutional rights of the group by applying “intensive and intrusive scrutiny” when they applied for tax-exempt status.
“NorCal and its members suffered years of delay and expense while awaiting the exemption and spending valuable time and money answering the IRS’ questions. The result was a muffling and muzzling of free expression,” the group claims in their suit, according to reports.
The group is seeking unspecified damages. The suit names both current and former IRS and Treasury Department officials.
Reports said the NorCal Tea Party Patriots received tax-exempt status after a two-year process, which began in March 2010.