ICC Note: The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) has filed a federal lawsuit demanding that the IRS release information about a private agreement regarding the surveillance of churches that it made with the atheist organization Freedom from Religion Foundation. ADF has asserted that the IRS has violated the Freedom of Information Act request regarding the specifics of the agreement.
By Michael Gryboski
04/21/2015 United States (The Christian Post) – An Arizona-based legal group has filed a lawsuit in federal court demanding that the Internal Revenue Service divulge information about an agreement it made with an atheist organization regarding the monitoring of churches.
The Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative group based in Scottsdale filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia earlier this month.
ADF’s complaint charges that the IRS has failed to honor a Freedom of Information Act request made by the Alliance regarding the details of an agreement between the tax collecting federal body and the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation.
“As of the date of this complaint, Defendant has failed to: (i) determine whether to comply with the request; (ii) notify Plaintiff of any such determination or the reasons therefor; (iii) advise Plaintiff of the right to appeal any adverse determination; and/or (iv) produce the requested records or otherwise demonstrate that the requested records are exempt from production,” reads the complaint.
“Plaintiff is being irreparably harmed by reason of Defendant’s unlawful withholding of records responsive to Plaintiffs’ FOIA request, and Plaintiff will continue to be irreparably harmed unless Defendant is compelled to conform its conduct to the requirements of the law.”
In 2012, the FFRF sued the IRS demanding that they enforce the Johnson Amendment, a provision that strips a church or its tax exemption if it is openly involved in political activity.
Last summer, the FFRF and the IRS reached an agreement wherein the federal body would make an effort to enforce the Johnson Amendment when violations are brought to their attention. But the IRS has not disclosed the details of that agreement.