Nonprofits Constitutional Law

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Nonprofits issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

Complicit in Sin: the Burden of the Opt-Out Form

Does filling out a form burden religious beliefs? We’re about to find out. On November 6, the Supreme Court agreed to review a group of seven cases (led by No. 14-1418, Zubik v. Burwell) brought by religious non-profit...more

Employee Benefits Developments August 2015

Certain Closely Held For-Profit Employers Need Not Provide Women’s Contraceptive Services. Under the ACA, non-grandfathered group health plans must cover specified preventive services, including certain women’s preventive...more

Where the First Amendment and Land Use Meet: Planet Aid v. City of St. Johns

Generally speaking, land use regulations and zoning laws arise from practical and aesthetic concerns and considerations, and are driven by state and local law. However, sometimes a community’s desire to regulate a seemingly...more

“Opt Out” Accommodation Under Affordable Care Act Validated After Challenge from Religious Objectors

In what continues to be a controversial and developing area of employment law, a federal appellate court recently validated the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) “opt out” provision, finding that requiring nonprofit employers to...more

New Nevada Commerce Tax Effective July 1, 2015

While not purporting to give specific advice on Nevada tax law, the following is a summary of some of the general principals underlying the new tax law. A new Nevada Commerce Tax (“NCT”) was signed into law by Nevada Governor...more


This week, RLUIPA Defense continues its effort to aggregate important new stories reflecting the intersection of religion, land use and local government. Indiana’s First Church of Cannabis in Indianapolis – Indiana’s...more

FAIL: For-Profit Education Sector Dealt Major Blow

For-profit education was dealt a major blow in a federal court case challenging the Department of Education’s Gainful Employment Rule. U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Kaplan of New York dismissed a lawsuit that was filed last...more

Sixth Circuit Rules Against St. Johns, Michigan Ordinance Banning Charitable Donation Bins

In a decision that should be of interest to many of our readers, the Sixth Circuit has affirmed a federal district court’s ruling that an ordinance in the City of St. Johns, Michigan (City) prohibiting the use of charitable...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Week Ending April 17 & 24, 2015

Statute of Limitations/Liens: one year statute of limitations to enforce equitable lien under Fla. Stat. sec. 95.11(5)(b) runs from last furnishing of labor, services, or material for improvement of real property; Fla. Stat....more

D.C. Federal District Court Dismisses Lawsuit Seeking to Block $13 Billion DOJ Settlement

On March 18, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a lawsuit brought by a non-profit organization challenging the $13 billion global settlement agreement entered by the U.S. Department of Justice...more

St. Louis Homeless Shelter Files RLUIPA Claim and Requests Preliminary Injunction to Continue Operations

Plaintiff, New Life Evangelistic Center, Inc., (“New Life”), an interdenominational Christian Church formed in 1972 by Reverend Larry Rice, recently sued the City of St. Louis, Missouri (the “City”) in the Eastern District of...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

Property Valuation Topics: Winter 2015

Thorny Exemption Issue Discussed - Limited Liability Company X owns property in the Town of Windham which it leases to Corporation Y. Both entities are tax exempt under the Internal Revenue Code. Both entities...more

Illinois Supreme Court Affirms Constitutionality of Nursing Home Bed Tax

In the closing days of its January term, a unanimous Illinois Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a “bed tax” on Illinois nursing homes, reversing the Circuit Court’s judgment that the tax violates the state...more

Illinois District Court Holds That a Plan Maintained by a Religiously Affiliated Organization Is Not a Church Plan

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently had the opportunity to weigh in on the issue of whether a religiously affiliated employer was exempt from federal regulation of its employee...more

Potential Tax Changes Ahead for Pennsylvania Nonprofits

Pennsylvania charities that rely on exemptions from real property tax and sales and use tax may have good reason to be concerned. A recently released special report prepared by the Pennsylvania Auditor General quantifying...more

Higher Education Alert: NLRB Announces Two New Standards Favorable to Faculty Unions

In Pacific Lutheran University, 361 NLRB No. 157, a case that had been watched closely by the higher education community, the National Labor Relations Board issued a 3-2 decision the week before Christmas announcing new...more

Religious Institution - January 2015

Experience over the last couple decades teaches that religious institutions face as much or perhaps more liability than secular organizations and, therefore, need to take risk management seriously. From operating their own...more

Alabama Tax Developments – 2014 Year in Review

This SALT Alert summarizes the major legislative, judicial, and administrative developments affecting Alabama business taxpayers with respect to income, transactional, and property taxes, as well as several updates on...more

Religious Institutions Update: December 2014

Every year, religious institutions spend millions purchasing insurance of various types from insurance companies. Many will never make claims on the policies remotely equal to their annual investment in premiums. In these...more

Seventh Circuit: Plaintiffs Lacked Standing to Challenge Tax Exemption for Ministerial Rental Allowances

In November 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin declared unconstitutional Section 107(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, which excludes from gross income rental allowances paid to ministers as...more

Fighting for Education Rights: Equal Justice for Pregnant and Parenting Students [Video]

As an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Fenwick & West, Angelica Salceda is working at the ACLU of Northern California to ensure that pregnant and parenting students in California’s Central Valley schools are afforded...more

Combining Arms for Justice-Involved Veterans [Video]

Co-sponsored by Fenwick & West and Microsoft, Equal Justice Works Fellow Leo Flor is building enduring capacity in Washington State for complementary civil representation of criminal justice-involved veterans through client...more

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

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