Conservative group takes IRS, top Obama officials to court
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A prominent conservative legal advocacy group will file a lawsuit on Wednesday against top Internal Revenue Service and Obama administration officials, claiming the constitutional rights of 25 organizations were violated when the IRS targeted conservative outfits seeking tax-exempt status.
The Washington-based American Center for Law and Justice will argue in a federal district court filing that the First and Fifth Amendment rights of the organizations were violated by the targeting, according to an ACLJ official. The group will also contend the IRS violated its own regulations, the official noted.
The filing by the ACLJ -- founded by televangelist Pat Robertson -- asks the court to rule that Attorney General Eric Holder, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, and former IRS Commissioner Steven Miller acted unlawfully, the official told CNN.
IRS Director of Exempt Organizations Lois Lerner and IRS official Holly Paz, among others, are also listed in the filing.
"The overreach by the Internal Revenue Service is not only extremely disturbing but it is unconstitutional as well," ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow said.
"An out-of-control IRS is problematic on a number of fronts, but this ongoing scheme to target conservative organizations is unlawful and represents a serious breach of trust for the American people," he added.
"The federal lawsuit is significant and is intended to bring an end to this ploy of intimidation and hold those responsible inside the Obama administration accountable."
Multiple congressional panels are currently investigating the targeting.
The Justice Department has also launched an investigation of whether laws were broken by IRS workers using a list of criteria including names such as "tea party" to determine levels of scrutiny for groups seeking tax-exempt status.
Other groups have also filed or plan to file related suits against the IRS.
CNN's Bill Mears contributed to this report