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Churches' Lobbying And Campaigning: A Proposed Statutory Safe Harbor For Internal Church Communications, Edward A. Zelinsky Jul 2017

Churches' Lobbying And Campaigning: A Proposed Statutory Safe Harbor For Internal Church Communications, Edward A. Zelinsky

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President Trump, reiterating the position he took during the presidential campaign, has recently reaffirmed his pledge to “get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment,” the provision of the Internal Revenue Code which prohibits tax-exempt institutions from participating in political campaigns. The Code also bars tax-exempt institutions, including churches, from substantial lobbying activities.

Rather than the blanket repeal of the Johnson Amendment proposed by President Trump, I argue for a statutory safe harbor for the internal communications of churches. This limited safe harbor would protect in-house church discussions from both Section 501(c)(3)’s ban on substantial lobbying and from that …


Hobby Lobby And The Pathology Of Citizens United, Ellen D. Katz Jan 2014

Hobby Lobby And The Pathology Of Citizens United, Ellen D. Katz

Articles

Four years ago, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission held that for-profit corporations possess a First Amendment right to make independent campaign expenditures. In so doing, the United States Supreme Court invited speculation that such corporations might possess other First Amendment rights as well. The petitioners in Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius are now arguing that for-profit corporations are among the intended beneficiaries of the Free Exercise Clause and, along with the respondents in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, that they also qualify as “persons” under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Neither suggestion follows inexorably from Citizens United, …