US/World News

Court won’t dismiss pro-Israel group’s lawsuit

( The U.S. District Court for Washington, DC, last week denied an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) motion claiming that a lawsuit by the pro-Israel group Z Street is not appropriate for federal courts. Z Street alleges that it was subjected to more rigorous review procedures than other organizations applying for tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. The IRS sought to dismiss Z Street’s lawsuit under the Tax Anti-Injunction Act (AIA), but Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson wrote in her ruling, “The remedy sought in this lawsuit has no direct effect on the public fisc, and certainly not one that would impact the Treasury or otherwise affect the agency’s assessment and collection.”

Z Street applied for tax-exempt status in December 2009. The group’s founder, Lori Lowenthal Marcus, told “We were thrilled that Judge Jackson authoritatively told the IRS what we have been saying since our claim was filed: this lawsuit is about the government, in this case, the IRS, treating Z Street differently than other tax-exemption applicants because of our political viewpoint. That is a violation of our constitutional rights.”

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