WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed two lawsuits stemming from the government's alleged mistreatment of conservative groups that applied for tax-exempt status.
Forty-two organizations sued the government, the Internal Revenue Service and individual IRS officials for constitutional violations, saying IRS officials pulled applications from conservative organizations and delayed processing those applications for sometimes well over a year during the 2010 and 2012 elections.
In a decision Thursday, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton said federal courts in Washington do not permit financial claims against individual IRS defendants for alleged constitutional violations.
The judge also ruled that the IRS had suspended the practice of using watch lists to identify cases requiring extra scrutiny, thus removing one of the grounds for legal action.
Several investigations into the IRS' handling of the applications are underway.