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Journal Articles

2009

First Amendment

Notre Dame Law School

Religious freedom restoration act

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Politics At The Pulpit: Tax Benefits, Substantial Burdens, And Institutional Free Exercise, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer Jan 2009

Politics At The Pulpit: Tax Benefits, Substantial Burdens, And Institutional Free Exercise, Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer

Journal Articles

More than fifty years ago, Congress enacted a prohibition against political campaign intervention for all charities, including churches and other houses of worship, as a condition for receiving tax deductible contributions. Yet the IRS has never taken a house of worship to court for alleged violation of the prohibition through political comments from the pulpit, presumably at least in part because of concerns about the constitutionality of doing so. This decision is surprising, because a careful review of Free Exercise Clause case law - both before and after the landmark Employment Division v. Smith decision - reveals that the prohibition …