The staff of the Ridgewood blog
Washington DC, Judge Michael R. Barrett signed off on Wednesday the settlement between the IRS and hundreds of tea party groups, closing out the last major legal battle over what all sides now agree was unwarranted and illegal targeting for political purposes. This week’s decision closes out five years of litigation .
The judge called the settlement “fair, reasonable and adequate.”
The IRS agreed to pay $3.5 million to groups that were wronged by the intrusive inspections, and insists it’s made changes so that political targeting can’t occur in the future. The money will be split with half going to the lawyers who argued the case and the other half to more than 100 tea party groups, which will get a cut of about $17,000 each.
A few issues are still being fought over in the courts, including whether former IRS senior executive Lois G. Lerner will be allowed to forever shield her deposition explaining her behavior from public view, and whether the IRS should pay attorney fees . but this week’s decision closes out five years of litigation over the targeting itself.
“It shows that when a government agency desires to target citizens based on their viewpoints, a price will be paid,” said Edward Greim, the lawyer who led the class action case in federal court in Cincinnati.