RSSLaw

Music, Mozart, and the First Amendment – The Seventh Circuit Issues a Ruling Favoring Religious Freedom

Music, Mozart, and the First Amendment – The Seventh Circuit Issues a Ruling Favoring Religious Freedom

| September 12, 2019

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit had before it an employment discrimination case raising First Amendment Freedom of Religion questions.  It issued an opinion that may reshape how courts view employment disputes at religious organizations. The case is Sterlinski v. Catholic Bishop of Chicago.  Stanislaw Sterlinski was the organist at St. […]

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The Supreme Court’s Bladensburg Peace Cross Decision Announces A New Definition For The Establishment Of Religion

The Supreme Court’s Bladensburg Peace Cross Decision Announces A New Definition For The Establishment Of Religion

| July 16, 2019

On June 20, 2018, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in American Legion v. American Humanist Assn., concerning a large cross on public lands, erected as a war memorial. The nine justices produced eight different opinions (a majority decision, a plurality decision, five concurring opinions, and a dissent). In so doing, the Court […]

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Abortion, the Supreme Court, and the Limits of Personal Freedom

Abortion, the Supreme Court, and the Limits of Personal Freedom

| June 17, 2019

The last substantive decision from the Supreme Court concerning abortion was Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, decided in June, 2016. There the Court found unconstitutional a Texas law requiring that (i) abortion facilities had to meet the safety standards of outpatient surgical centers, and (ii) that doctors at an abortion center had to have admitting […]

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Pastor’s Housing Allowance Found Constitutional

Pastor’s Housing Allowance Found Constitutional

| April 9, 2019

Since 1954, pastors have been able to receive an annual Housing Allowance from their churches that is not subject to income tax. It is the most important tax benefit available to ministers and clergy, which the U.S. Treasury Department estimates saves $1 billion in taxes each year. The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) actively challenges […]

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The Form 990 as Public Relations

The Form 990 as Public Relations

| March 18, 2019

Form 990 is the Internal Revenue Service filing required annually for most nonprofits. Since 2009, it has included questions that have little to do with the tax rules, but rather concern the organization’s purpose, activities, and governance.  This makes the 990 Return not simply an accounting function.  Instead, the 990 can be a strong public […]

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The Supreme Court, “Professional Speech”, and the First Amendment

The Supreme Court, “Professional Speech”, and the First Amendment

| July 17, 2018

On June 26, 2018, just two days before the end of its term, the United States Supreme Court announced its decision in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. The case had been closely watched, because it would decide lingering questions about free speech in the context of the national debate over abortion.  […]

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The Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision: The Supreme Court and Religious Freedom in the Marketplace

The Masterpiece Cakeshop Decision: The Supreme Court and Religious Freedom in the Marketplace

| June 14, 2018

Few decisions from the United States Supreme Court this term were as anxiously anticipated as that in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission.  Everyone anticipated a close decision where the Court would balance religious liberty against discrimination based on sexual orientation.  The decision announced on June 4, 2018 was not close and it […]

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Using Your IRA in Tax Giving

Using Your IRA in Tax Giving

| May 25, 2018

In April, CPN began a series of articles of effective planning under the new tax law with a discussion of Donor Advised Funds.  This month we return to charitable giving to discuss Individual Retirement Accounts. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) went into effect on January 1, 2018.  One of the biggest changes was […]

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Donor Advised Funds Top Planning Tools Under New Tax Law

Donor Advised Funds Top Planning Tools Under New Tax Law

| April 23, 2018

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) went into effect on January 1, 2018. Economists argue over the winners and the losers, but one obvious loser was charitable donations and the charities that depend on them. The new tax law nearly doubles the standard deduction in 2018 — to $12,000 for singles and $24,000 for […]

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Avoiding Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Avoiding Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

| February 7, 2018

Recent news stories have shed a brighter light on the very real problem of sexual harassment in the workplace.  Failing to properly address sexual harassment creates an unsafe workplace and exposes the employer to substantial liability. There is nothing new about this issue. Liability under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act has existed for […]

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