HOUSTON, TX. May 21, 2013 - True the Vote (TTV), the nation's leading voters’ rights organization, filed suit in federal court in Washington today against the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), asking the Court to grant its long-awaited tax exempt status and seeking damages for the unlawful actions by the IRS in the processing of its application for exempt status.  ActRight Legal Foundation, a 501(c)3 fundamental rights and public interest law firm represents True the Vote in the lawsuit.

Click here to read the TTV v. IRS FAQ

“We’ve been waiting for three years to receive a decision from the IRS about our tax exempt status,” True the Vote President Catherine Engelbrecht said. “After answering hundreds of questions and producing thousands of documents, we’re done waiting. The IRS does not have the power to pocket veto our application. Federal law empowers groups like True the Vote to force a decision in court – which is precisely what we aim to do.”

True the Vote is dedicated solely to promoting election integrity in our Republic,” Engelbrecht said.  “Our mission is to educate Americans on all of the rights they enjoy as voters. We do not pick winners and losers, but instead fortify the voting process so that it is fair and free. If this goal is deserving of such scrutiny, then we have serious questions that we, as a nation, must face,” she added.

Cleta Mitchell, counsel to True the Vote and of counsel to ActRight Legal Foundation, stated, “We are not going to allow the IRS to claim, as it has been doing in the past week, that the targeting of conservative groups is over and ‘everything has been fixed.’   It is not yet fixed and this litigation is a vital step both to resolve True the Vote’s status and to learn exactly what happened inside the IRS.”

True the Vote’s lawsuit consists of three counts:

Count One:  Seeks recognition of True the Vote as a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization pursuant to  26 USC § 7428.

Count Two:  Seeks damages and injunctive relief from the IRS and IRS employees and agents, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S. 388 (1971), for violation of True the Vote's constitutional rights by virtue of the actions of the government in unlawfully targeting and delaying recognition of True the Vote's exempt status.

Count Three:   Seeks damages and injunctive relief against the IRS and IRS employees, pursuant to 26 USC § 7431, for their unlawful intrusions into True the Vote’s activities by requiring the filing of voluminous materials with the IRS, then unlawfully inspecting and potentially disseminating the information.

“This is just the first of several cases ActRight Legal Foundation plans to file against the IRS and those within the agency who have violated the constitutional rights of these citizens’ organizations,” said Dr. John Eastman, Chairman of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and of Counsel to ActRight Legal Foundation. 

Click here to read the TTV v. IRS FAQ

To read the complaint filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, click here.


True the Vote (TTV) a nonpartisan, voters’ rights and election integrity organization focused on preserving election integrity and is operated by citizens for citizens, to inspire and equip volunteers for involvement at every stage of our electoral process. TTV empowers organizations and individuals across the nation to actively protect the rights of legitimate voters, regardless of their political party affiliation. For more information, please visit

Voto Honesto (TTV) es una organización sin fines de lucro, no partidaria, enfocada en preservar la integridad en las elecciones y operada por ciudadanos para ciudadanos, ara inspirar y equipar a voluntarios para envolverse en cada una de las etapas del proceso electoral. TTT capacita a organizaciones e individuos a través de la nación para activamente proteger los derechos de los votantes legítimos, sin importar a que partido político perteneces. Para más información, por favor visite

ActRight Legal Foundation protects the fundamental rights of individuals and charities to pursue their callings. To learn more, visit



Filed Complaint - True the Vote v. IRS by True The Vote PR


Media Highlights

5/17/13 - Associated Press; Tea party group says IRS asked about Walker recall

“IRS officials asked for extensive information about its activities, including an explanation of its involvement with Verify the Recall, which worked to confirm signatures in last year's effort to recall Walker, who eventually retained his position, said Northeast Tarrant Tea Party of Fort Worth, Texas.”


5/17/13 – Fox News Channel; Special Report in IRS Targeting of True the Vote


5/18/13 – Fox News Channel; Catherine Engelbrecht on Huckabee


5/21/13 – The Washington Post; True the Vote Sues IRS

“The suit — which names numerous defendants including former acting IRS commissioner Steven Miller, former commissioner Douglas Shulman, and Lois G. Lerner, head of the agecy’s tax-exempt organizations division — seeks immediate recognition of True the Vote as a 501(c)(3) and damages of more than $85,000.”


5/23/13 – NRO; The Real Voter Suppression of 2012

“But it now turns out there may have suppression of the vote after all. ‘It looks like a lot of tea-party groups were less active or never got off the ground because of the IRS actions,’ Wisconsin governor Scott Walker told me. “Sure seems like people were discouraged by it.”


5/27/13 – Fox News Channel; Engelbrecht Discusses IRS with Cavuto


5/28/13 – Fox News Channel; Engelbrecht, Mitchell on O’Reilly


5/30/13 - Forbes; Why You Should Care that the Government has Targeted Catherine Engelbrecht

“Catherine and her public service organizations are suing the IRS and those employees acting as its agents in connection with this matter.  In this interview she explains why.”