The Forgotten 21 Disks: The IRS’s Unlawful Disclosure of Taxpayer Data to DOJ & FBI

Just as the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) targeting scandal was beginning to fade from Washington’s collective memory, it returned to the forefront of the national political scene with a vengeance.  It started with the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) decision in early September to forgo further criminal investigation of Lois Lerner […]

Coal Subsidies: Just As Bad As Green Energy Subsidies

Republicans promote the free market rhetorically, but in crafting policy, all too often they jump ship and support corporate subsidies for favored industries. President Donald Trump followed that well-worn path last month when he called for coal subsidies that would cost American taxpayers an estimated $10.6 billion per year, according […]

Has the IRS Changed Its Selection Criteria or Just a Machine?

In May 2013, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”) reported audit results showing that between May 2010 and May 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) used “inappropriate criteria” to identify which organizations’ applications for tax-exempt status it would give heightened scrutiny.  TIGTA found that IRS selections had been […]

President Trump to appoint a new watchdog for the Intelligence Community

As we have argued previously, one of the most troubling aspects of President Obama’s legacy was his failure to nominate permanent Inspectors General (“IGs”) at many agencies across the federal government.  Without presidentially-appointed, Senate-confirmed leadership, there is always a real danger that IG offices will lack the necessary commitment to […]

Federal Records Law Must Keep Pace with Evolving Technology

Technology develops faster than law.  This maxim has implications across society, but one place it has particular purchase is in federal recordkeeping and the public’s right to access government information.  The two primary federal statutes that require government to preserve records and then allow the public to access those records […]

CoA Institute Urges Supreme Court to Hold EPA to Task

Section 321(a) of the Clean Air Act (“CAA”) contains an explicit requirement that the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) conduct “continuing employment evaluations” related to CAA implementation or enforcement.  What this means is that the EPA needs to continually do an analysis of how many jobs will be lost, if any, […]

CoA Institute Sues OMB, Compelling it to Take Transparency Policy Seriously

Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) has sued the White House Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for failing to respond to two petitions for rulemaking that CoA Institute submitted to the agency.  These two petitions—both aimed at increasing government transparency—were filed during the Obama Administration but were ignored.  We […]