News & Analysis as of

Churches

Nine Members Again, the Supreme Court Takes On Uneasy Relationship Between Church and State

by Baker Donelson on

On June 26, 2017, the last day of its session, the Supreme Court issued what is likely to be one of its most significant rulings this year – and possibly for years to come – in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Forbids Exclusion of Churches from State Grant Program

by Hogan Lovells on

On June 26, 2017, in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, the U.S. Supreme Court held unconstitutional under the Free Exercise Clause Missouri’s refusal to award a playground resurfacing grant to a church. The...more

Supreme Court Confirms Retirement Plans of Church-Affiliated Organizations Can be Exempt from ERISA

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC on

In a much-anticipated ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 5 that retirement plans maintained by church-affiliated organizations can be exempt from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), regardless of...more

Supreme Court: Public Benefit Programs Cannot Exclude Churches Solely Because They Are Religious

by Holland & Knight LLP on

In Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, No. 15-577 (June 26, 2017), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 7-2 that excluding a church from a public benefit program for which it is otherwise qualified violates the Free...more

Tax-Exempt Financing of Churches, Parochial Schools and Other Sectarian Institutions After Trinity Lutheran Church: Permitted? ...

The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 26 opinion in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, precluding states from discriminating against churches in at least some state financing programs, raises anew the question of...more

The Supreme Court - June 26, 2017

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

The Supreme Court of the United States issued decisions in five cases today: California Public Employees’ Retirement System v. ANZ Securities, Inc., No. 16-373: Lehman Brothers’ collapse led to a number of securities...more

Supreme Court Decides Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, No. 15-577

by Faegre Baker Daniels on

On June 26, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, holding that, when the government offers a public benefit to organizations that meet specified criteria, the Free Exercise...more

ERISA: New Questions for Church-Affiliated Organizations After The Supreme Court Expands ERISA Church-Plan Exemption

On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the scope of ERISA’s church-plan exemption in the case of Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, — S. Ct. –, 2017 WL 2407476 (2017). The unanimous decision adopted a broad...more

RLUIPA Round-Up

What do tiny homes, marijuana, a sex club, the Satanic Temple, and yoga have in common? They each make an appearance in this installment of the RLUIPA Round-Up!...more

Supreme Court Rules That Church-Affiliated Hospitals Fall Within ERISA’s Church Plan Exemption

On June 5, a unanimous US Supreme Court reversed decisions of the US Courts of Appeal for the Third, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits, holding that a church-affiliated organization that establishes an employee benefits plan falls...more

Supreme Court clarifies definition of ‘church plan’ under ERISA

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

The Supreme Court on June 5, 2017, unanimously held that a benefits plan administered by an entity that is associated with a church and has as its principal purpose the administration or funding of that plan is a “church...more

ERISA Religious Exemption Expanded: SCOTUS Says Church Affiliation is Enough

In a sigh of relief for faith-based healthcare providers, on Monday, June 5th, the U.S. Supreme Court held, in a decision authored by Justice Elena Kagan, that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s religious exemption...more

Supreme Court Confirms Standards for ERISA’s Church Plan Exception

by Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP on

In a clear win for religiously-affiliated employers, including hospital systems and educational institutions, a unanimous Supreme Court found that a statutory exception to ERISA’s requirements for “church plans” applies to...more

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Church-Affiliated Hospitals in Church Plan Litigation

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In a major victory for church-affiliated hospitals, the US Supreme Court overturned three appellate court rulings and decided unanimously that church-affiliated hospitals can maintain their pension plans as "church plans"...more

Church-Affiliated Employers Get Win As SCOTUS Clarifies ERISA Exemption

by Fisher Phillips on

In a unanimous 8-0 decision published today, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled that employee benefit plans sponsored by church-affiliated organizations will qualify for the “church plan” exemption under the Employee...more

Religious Institutions Update: June 2017

by Holland & Knight LLP on

Timely Topics - The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral argument in Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer, No. 15-577. The lawsuit concerns whether the daycare operated by a Missouri church may qualify...more

What President Trump’s Executive Order Means for 501(c)(3) Political Activity

by Genova Burns LLC on

Recently, President Trump signed his Executive Order “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.” It directs the Secretary of the Treasury to exercise discretion to avoid taking any adverse action against an individual,...more

UPDATE: President Trump Signs “Johnson Amendment” Executive Order Limiting Treasury’s Actions Against Religious Organizations...

On May 4, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that directs the executive branch to limit its enforcement of the “Johnson Amendment.” As previously reported, the Johnson Amendment prohibits organizations that are...more

What Employers Need to Know about Trump’s Religious Liberty Executive Order

by Fisher Phillips on

President Trump signed an executive order on religious liberty last week to commemorate the National Day of Prayer. Like many before it, the exact contents of this order were hotly anticipated, fueled by White House leaks and...more

RLUIPA Round Up

The recent confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has brought renewed attention to the often blurry line between the courts, government and individual religious liberty. Gorsuch wrote a concurring opinion in the...more

Mike Knapek and Steven Dimitt Provide ‘Tips for Handling a RLUIPA Lawsuit’

by Jackson Walker on

Attorneys Mike Knapek and Steven Dimitt represent churches and religious institutions in matters related to the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). In a recent article published by the American Bar...more

Texas Supreme Court Addresses The Causation Requirement For A Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim And Conspiracy, Aiding And Abetting...

by Winstead PC on

In First United Pentecostal Church of Beaumont v. Parker, a church hired an attorney to defend it against sexual abuse allegations. 2017 Tex. LEXIS 295 (Tex. March 17, 2017). During the same time, the church also engaged the...more

Church’s RLUIPA Claim Against an Illinois City is “Likely to Succeed”

The District Court for the Northern District of Illinois granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting the City of Markham from requiring the Original Bible Church of Illinois to obtain conditional use approval to use property...more

Who owns God’s Property? Shifting Politics Cost Some Congregations Their Church

by SmithAmundsen LLC on

Re-alignment of a congregation with a new denomination is typically driven by ideals, but as usual, money becomes the bone of contention....more

Is discrimination in respect of same-sex marriage ever permissible?

by Dentons on

In Reverend Canon Pemberton v. Former Acting Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham, Canon Pemberton, a Church of England priest, entered into a same-sex marriage. The Church of England opposed the Marriage (Same Sex...more

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