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Speech Or Not: Applying Election Law Strict Scrutiny To Campaign Finance Regulations, Michael Marcucci Dec 2001

Speech Or Not: Applying Election Law Strict Scrutiny To Campaign Finance Regulations, Michael Marcucci

Boston College Law Review

This Note will argue that even if money is not speech for First Amendment purposes, campaign contributions and expenditures are still crucial elements of the electoral process and ought to receive some constitutional protection. The United States Supreme Court has in its own election law jurisprudence the analytical tools required to strike a proper balance between the constitutional necessity of a free electoral system and the need to keep elections fair, open, honest and free from corruption. This Note will argue that under the Elections Clause and Qualifications Clause of the United States Constitution, Congress has neither plenary power to ...


Baker V. State And The Promise Of The New Judicial Federalism, Charles H. Baron, Lawrence Friedman Dec 2001

Baker V. State And The Promise Of The New Judicial Federalism, Charles H. Baron, Lawrence Friedman

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

In Baker v. State, the Supreme Court of Vermont ruled that the state constitution’s Common Benefits Clause prohibits the exclusion of same-sex couples from the benefits and protections of marriage. Baker has been praised by constitutional scholars as a prototypical example of the New Judicial Federalism. The authors agree, asserting that the decision sets a standard for constitutional discourse by dint of the manner in which each of the opinions connects and responds to the others, pulls together arguments from other state and federal constitutional authorities, and provides a clear basis for subsequent development of constitutional principle. This Article ...


Churches, Politics, And The Charitable Contribution Deduction, Ellen P. Aprill Jul 2001

Churches, Politics, And The Charitable Contribution Deduction, Ellen P. Aprill

Boston College Law Review

Churches often bear the burden of the Internal Revenue Code's electioneering prohibition without their contributors enjoying the benefit of a tax deduction. Although contributions to religious congregations may be deducted, many, perhaps most of them, are not because many of those who give to churches do not itemize their income tax deductions. In the past two years, Congress has had before it several bills that would permit nonitenizing taxpayers to deduct their charitable contributions. This Article argues that, extending the deduction to nonitemizers raises important issues of tax policy that should concern religious organizations. The author contends that religious ...


Of Politics And Pulpits: A First Amendment Analysis Of Irs Restrictions On The Political Activities Of Religious Organizations, Steffen N. Johnson Jul 2001

Of Politics And Pulpits: A First Amendment Analysis Of Irs Restrictions On The Political Activities Of Religious Organizations, Steffen N. Johnson

Boston College Law Review

This Article explores some of the policy justifications offered in support of restricting the political activities of tax-exempt religious organizations. The author begins with an overview of the scope of current federal restrictions and then considers the contention that it is inappropriate for religious organizations to be involved in politics from their own standpoint. He argues that federal restrictions on the political activities of tax-exempt religious organizations raise a fundamental question of mission that must be resolved by each organization according to its conscience. The author also considers restrictions front the standpoint of public policy and constitutional law, with a ...


A Quiet Faith? Taxes, Politics, And The Privatization Of Religion, Richard W. Garnett Jul 2001

A Quiet Faith? Taxes, Politics, And The Privatization Of Religion, Richard W. Garnett

Boston College Law Review

The government exempts religious associations front taxation and, in return, restricts their putatively political expression and activities. This exemption-and-restriction scheme invites government to interpret and categorize the means by which religious communities live out their vocations and engage the world. But government is neither well-suited nor to be trusted with this kind of line-drawing. What's more, this invitation is dangerous to authentically religious consciousness and associations. When government communicates and enforces its own view of the nature of religion—i.e., that it is a private matter—and of its proper place—i.e., in the private sphere, not ...


Are Tax "Benefits" For Religious Institutions Constitutionally Dependent On Benefits For Secular Entities?, Edward A. Zelinsky Jul 2001

Are Tax "Benefits" For Religious Institutions Constitutionally Dependent On Benefits For Secular Entities?, Edward A. Zelinsky

Boston College Law Review

The Supreme Court generally conditions tax - exemptions, deductions, and- exclusions for religious organizations and activities upon the simultaneous extension of such benefits to secular institutions and undertakings. The Court's position flows logically from its acceptance of the premise that tax exemptions, deductions, and exclusions constitute subsidies. However, the "subsidy" label is usually deployed in a conclusory and unconvincing fashion. The First Amendment is best understood 'as permitting governments to refrain from taxation to accommodate the autonomy of religious actors and activities; hence, tax benefits extended solely to religious institutions should pass constitutional Muster as recognition of that autonomy.


Religious Claims And The Dynamics Of Argument, M. Cathleen Kaveny Jan 2001

Religious Claims And The Dynamics Of Argument, M. Cathleen Kaveny

Boston College Law School Faculty Papers

This Article investigates the questions whether and when religious claims may enter into public debate about important political issues by considering the purposes of argument in the public square. These purposes include: (1) argument as self-disclosure; (2) argument as persuasion; and (3) argument as bulwark against engagement with the ideas of others. The Article argues that restrictions on the use of religious claims in public deliberations and discussion impede the legitimate functions of public argument as self-disclosing and persuasive activities. In contrast, such restrictions contribute to the use of argument as bulwark, which is arguably destructive to public deliberation in ...