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Wisconsin-based atheist group sues Trump over church order

President Donald Trump signs an executive order aimed at easing an IRS rule limiting political activity for churches, Thursday, May 4, 2017, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump signs an executive order aimed at easing an IRS rule limiting political activity for churches on Thursday in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin-based atheist group has filed a lawsuit asking a federal judge to strike down President Donald Trump’s order aimed at easing an IRS rule limiting religious organizations’ political activity.

A law from 1954 prohibits tax-exempt charitable organizations, such as churches, from participating in political campaigns. Trump signed an executive order on Thursday directing the Treasury Department not to take “adverse action” against churches or religious organizations for political speech.

The Madison-based Freedom from Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit on Thursday arguing that Trump’s order gives churches preferential treatment in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

A message left at the U.S. Department of Justice on Friday seeking a response to the lawsuit wasn’t immediately returned.

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