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Religious Institutions: September 2015

Respondeat superior (literally, "let the master answer" in Latin) is a doctrine that applies when an employer or principal has the ability and authority to direct and control the pertinent acts of the employee. Put otherwise,...more

Religious Institutions: June 2015

Religious institutions commonly make payments to or receive payments directly or indirectly from governmental agencies for services rendered; e.g., day cares that benefit from public scholarships, hospitals that participate...more

Religious Institutions Update: May 2015

Religious institutions commonly keep ministry supporters and members abreast of developments through newsletters, correspondence and other communications. Sometimes, the developments reported are embarrassing to those...more

Religious Institutions Update: March 2015

Several interrelated legal developments make it more important than ever for religious institutions intending to qualify for exemptions to generally applicable laws to do the hard work before litigation or administrative...more

Religious Institutions Update

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. that an existing contraceptive coverage mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act statute that applies to for-profit closely held corporations...more

Religious Institutions - March 2014

Under state and federal law, "whistleblowers" are a protected class and a broader category of persons than intuitively you might guess. When we imagine the quintessential whistleblower, the individual is usually someone who...more

Religious Institutions Update - December 2013

A federal district court has ruled unconstitutional one of the most important tax benefits available to ministers: the minister's housing allowance. A summary of the case follows. The ruling threatens to have a dramatic...more

Religious Institutions Update - November 2013

Diminished donations have led many faith-based organizations to become more creative about increasing revenue. Sometimes these organizations look beyond ordinary ministry functions to supplement income with unrelated...more

Religious Institutions Update: October 2013

The legitimacy of political speech from the pulpit is much debated. Some contend that religious institutions should be silent, because of separation of church and state or the inaccessibility of divine inspiration to...more

Religious Institutions Update: August/September 2013

On August 2, 2013, the White House's Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum instructing federal agencies to take steps to carry out President Obama's executive order (E.O. 13559 (Nov. 17, 2010)) adopting several...more

Religious Institutions Update - July 2013

Have you ever wondered how the United States Constitution came to incorporate "free exercise of religion" in the First Amendment? James Madison wrote the initial draft of the Bill of Rights. He and other Federalists initially...more

Religious Institutions: June 2013

Do you know a "place of public accommodation" when you see it? Federal, state and sometimes local laws entitle persons to the full and equal employment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages and...more

Religious Institutions Update: May 2013

Intellectual property is a legal construct referring to creations of the mind for which exclusive rights are recognized. Common types include copyrights, trademarks, patents, industrial design rights, trade dress and,...more

Religious Institutions Update: April 2013

Implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is in full swing. The law requires non-exempt religious organizations with fewer than 50 full-time employees to determine whether they are a large...more

Religious Institutions Update: March 2013

In this Issue: - Key Cases - Court Upholds Permitting, Licensing and Zoning Regulation of Spiritual Counselors - Non-Liturgical Navy Chaplains Denied Injunctive Relief for Statistical Imbalance in...more

Religious Institutions Update: February 2013

Last February, at the request of Senate Finance Committee member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the Commission on Accountability and Policy for Religious Organizations was formed to address tax-related policy questions of import...more

Religious Institutions Update: January 2013

In 2000, Congress enacted the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. ยง2000cc et seq. (RLUIPA), in recognition that "new, small, or unfamiliar churches in particular, are frequently discriminated...more

U.S. District Court Enjoins Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Applied to For-Profit Religious Publishing Company

On November 16, 2102, in Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. v. Sebelius, No. 12-1635 (D. D.C. Nov. 16, 2012), the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted a preliminary injunction to a closely held, for-profit...more

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