Nonprofits Constitutional Law

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Nonprofits issues written by leading professionals.
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Religious Institutions Update: May 2016

Timely Topics - Has your nonprofit received a donation for a restricted purpose that has become impractical, impossible to achieve, wasteful or even unlawful? A donor may restrict a contribution to a charity for a...more

Congressional Hearing Examines Free Speech and Tax Constraints on Campus Political Activity

Campuses across the country are wrestling with how free speech, tolerance, diversity and politics mix in a higher education environment. Recently, the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee examined the...more

New Jersey Township Files Challenge to Nonprofit Hospital’s Tax Exemption

On February 19, 2016, the Township of North Bergen in New Jersey filed a complaint challenging the constitutionality of a nonprofit hospital’s – Palisades Medical Center – property tax exemption. The complaint alleges that...more

Hospital property tax exemption under attack in Illinois

On Jan. 5, 2016, the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court ruled in the Carle Foundation Hospital case that an Illinois state law providing for property tax exemptions for certain not-for-profit hospitals is...more

Cautionary Guidance for the Tax-Exempt Organizations that Wish to Influence the Supreme Court Nomination Process

The vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court created by Justice Antonin Scalia’s recent passing has prompted a national discussion regarding appointment of the next justice. Headlines in the press and social media reflect the debate...more

Court Reaffirms CA Attorney General’s Demand for Donor List

Donor information is expected to remain confidential. With an apparent thumbs up from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals once again upheld the position of the California Attorney General (AG)...more

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Contraceptive Mandate Cases

As part of its requirement that non-grandfathered group health plans provide benefits for certain preventive care without cost sharing, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires these plans to cover at least one form of...more

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

RLUIPA Round-Up

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

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