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Religious Institutions: August 2014

If the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had a moratorium on enforcing §501(c)(3) electioneering restrictions against churches and religious organizations, the IRS states that it has been lifted incident to the settlement and...more

Politics and the Pulpit—Political Activity by Nevada Religious Institutions

Are you part of a church or religious organization in Nevada? If so, the subject of how ?far, or even whether the church can become involved in political activity may have crossed your ?mind. As we head into the Fall 2014...more

Benesch Perspectives - July 2014 Newsletter

In this issue: - Not-for-Profit Spotlight - Giving to Religion Trending Downward for a Decade - What You Can Learn from Giving 2014 - Is the Front Door Closing on the Parsonage...more

Californians To Vote On Stripping Common Cause Of Its First Amendment Rights

I recently wrote about SB 1272 (Lieu) which calls a special election for this November 4 at which California voters will be able to cast an advisory vote on whether the U.S. Constitution should be amended to overturn the U.S....more

Wheaton College Order Changes Landscape of Contraceptive Mandate for Religious Nonprofit Organizations

Last Thursday, while many of us were preparing for the long weekend ahead, the U.S. Supreme Court was hard at work, issuing an order that may have far-reaching implications for religious nonprofit organizations. ...more

New York Court Strikes Down Regulations Limiting Executive Compensation and Administrative Expenses

A New York court has held that the State’s regulatory limits on executive compensation and administrative expenses for entities that receive state funds unconstitutionally exceed proper regulatory authority. The regulations,...more

New York Court Strikes Down Regulations Limiting Executive Compensation and Administrative Expenses

A New York court has held that the State’s regulatory limits on executive compensation and administrative expenses for entities that receive state funds unconstitutionally exceed proper regulatory authority. The regulations,...more

Charities and nonprofits: Don't roll the dice with gambling laws

Are you involved with a charity or nonprofit that raises money by selling raffle tickets or holds poker tournaments or casino nights to fund operations? Although your charity or nonprofit may be using the proceeds to fund...more

Continuing Care Retirement Community Denied Property Tax Exemption

The Illinois Appellate Court recently upheld the denial of a property tax exemption on both charitable and religious grounds for the Meridian Village continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in Glen Carbon. A CCRC provides...more

Washington Supreme Court Holds That the WLAD Exemption for Non-Profit Religious Organizations is Unconstitutional as Applied to...

The Washington Supreme Court has significantly limited non-profit religious organizations’ immunity from employment discrimination claims brought under the Washington Law Against Discrimination (“WLAD”), RCW 49.60. In...more

Religious Institutions - February 2014

Who owns the "church?" For most, this is an odd question. As children, many of us folded our hands and repeated a rhyme: "Here is the church. Here is the steeple. Open the doors and see the people." Nevertheless, for well...more

Health Reform + Related Health Policy News - January 2014, Issue 1

In This Issue: - Top News ..Congress Approves Budget Deal with Short-Term ‘Doc Fix' ..CMS “Two-Midnight” Rule delayed until March 31, 2014 ..Individuals with Canceled Insurance Policies May Apply for...more

Religious Institutions Update - January 2014

On the heels of controversy surrounding the Internal Revenue Service's treatment of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status, the Treasury Department is accepting comments on proposed regulations that will...more

Would Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. Have A Stronger Case As A Flexible Purpose Corporation?

Steve Hazen alerted me to the fact that California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has filed an amicus brief in Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., U.S. Supreme Court Docket No. 13-354. The question presented in that...more

Tax Exemption For Ministers Unconstitutional?

The Western District of Wisconsin recently issued a decision that makes the parsonage exemption unconstitutional as a violation of the Establishment Clause of the US Constitution. This ruling is controversial and hotly...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

Eighth Circuit Decides Case Involving 4-H Pig Show Ban

The Eighth Circuit upheld an injunction issued in favor of a 4-H member against the South Dakota State Extension Service to allow her to continue participating in livestock shows. The Court found that she would likely be...more

An Unusual Perspective in the Clash of Rights--Thomas Berg’s “Progressive Arguments for Religious Organizational Freedom:...

Many debates discuss the clash of rights between religious liberties and other civil rights. Often this debate pits conservatives against progressives. Thomas Berg has written a well-reasoned article discussing why...more

The Renewable Resources Coalition Case: Pleading Around California’s Anti-SLAPP Statute

The California Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Renewable Resources Coalition, Inc. v. Pebble Mines Corporation, et al., 218 Cal.App.4th 384 (July 20, 2013), illustrates perfectly the importance of careful drafting of...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

You Gave the Church Away?

Church property cases are tough for courts because they have to figure out a way to resolve the conflict without getting involved in evaluating theology or doctrine. In a small Baptist Church case with an unusual power...more

What is RLUIPA Substantial Burden on a Church, Anyway?

When a governmental land use regulation imposes a substantial burden on churches, RLUIPA requires that the government show that it has a compelling interest and is meeting that interest in the least restrictive way. So...more

Proposed Regulations Released on Contraceptive Coverage Exemption and Accommodation for Nonprofit Religious Employers

On January 30, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (the “Departments”) released proposed regulations regarding contraceptive coverage for employees of religious employers. This guidance is the...more

How Secure is Your Pennsylvania Real Property Tax Exemption?

In late January, County Executive Richard Fitzgerald announced that thousands of tax-exempt properties in the county will have their exemptions reviewed in 2013. According to Fitzgerald, each owner of tax-exempt property...more

Obama Administration Outlines Religious Accommodations for Contraception Coverage Mandate

Last week, federal regulators released a Proposed Rule outlining accommodations for religious employers that object to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage mandate. The Proposed Rule expands the range of...more

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