Bopp Challenges IRS Rules Regarding "Political Intervention" by Tax-Exempt 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) Organizations

Jim Bopp has filed two new lawsuits challenging IRS regulations that place restrictions on tax-exempt 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organization’s “political intervention.”  According to a press release, the IRS has used its definition of “political intervention” “to stifle the legitimate speech activities of many non-profit organizations.  For decades the IRS has applied an “all the facts and circumstances” test to the grass roots lobbying, issue advocacy and voter education activity of non-profits to determine if the non-profit has actually engaged in prohibited political activity. Furthermore, this vague IRS test has been exploited by some liberal groups to threaten and harass churches and other non-profits, causing many of them to be fearful of IRS retribution if they discussed moral or public policy issues. Non-profits have even shied away from legitimate grass roots lobbying activity in fear that it will be considered political intervention. As a result, the legitimate speech activities of many non-profits have been chilled and their free speech rights infringed.”  The full press release is available on the James Madison Center for Free Speech website, here.
 
The cases are Catholic Answers and Karl Keating v. US (S.D. Cal.) (challenging the IRS rules as they apply to 501(c)(3)s) and Christian Coalition of Florida v. US (M.D. Fla.) (challenging the IRS rules as they apply to a 501(c)(4)s).
 
BNA Money & Politics reports here (subscription required).