RSSLaw

The Continual Burnt Offering: Can State Government Close Churches?

The Continual Burnt Offering: Can State Government Close Churches?

| May 14, 2020

Across the nation, State Governors have issued Executive Orders restricting the operation of businesses and the daily activities of individuals.  They are doing so in response to the COVID-19 pandemic which has swept America and the world.  These Orders often include prohibitions on the gathering of 10 or more people in any enclosed space. Churches […]

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Abortion and the Politicization of the Supreme Court

Abortion and the Politicization of the Supreme Court

| April 9, 2020

Hyper partisanship in America has greatly injured and weakened our nation.  It would have us see issues as a zero sum game where there are winners and losers.  It has caused us to view opportunities with suspicion, and to confront problems with denial.  We are today far more concerned with who was wrong, than with […]

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Legal Impact of Coronavirus on the Workplace

Legal Impact of Coronavirus on the Workplace

| March 17, 2020

As the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread across the U.S., employers are coming to grips with its effects on the workplace. The uncharted territory of the pandemic presents new challenges for employers. Health and safety are of foremost concern. When addressing those concerns, employers should remain conscious of their duties under various […]

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SECURE Act Promises Major Changes in Retirement Planning

SECURE Act Promises Major Changes in Retirement Planning

| January 17, 2020

Substantial changes in retirement laws appear headed for passage and enactment into law by 2020.  The SECURE Act (“Setting Every Community Up For Retirement Enhancement”) passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 417 – 3 and similar legislation is now before the Senate.  President Trump has expressed his support for what would be […]

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Charitable Giving Falling Due To New Tax Law

Charitable Giving Falling Due To New Tax Law

| October 14, 2019

  In 2017, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act gave charities great concern that donations would be falling.  This is because the standard deduction was doubled (to $24,000 for married couples filing jointly) and other deductions (such as State taxes and mortgage interest) were capped.  Fewer people would itemize deductions on their 2018 tax returns, […]

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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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