A federal judge has sided with the Internal Revenue Service and dismissed lawsuits by tea-party groups seeking redress for the secret targeting of their applications for tax-exempt status, which the groups argued were intentionally delayed for political purposes.

The tea party organizations immediately announced they would appeal the decision by Washington, D.C., District Judge Reggie B. Walton, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush.

Walton ruled that two lawsuits by Texas-based True the Vote and Linchpins of Liberty, along with 41 other conservative groups, were moot because the IRS took steps to address the scandal and “publicly suspended its targeting scheme.”

Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the American Center for Law & Justice, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of the tea party groups, said he plans to appeal the case.

“The decision by the court is disappointing. However, it does not deter our efforts to seek justice for our clients. We are reviewing the decision and plan to appeal,” Sekulow said in an emailed statement.

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