Under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, a tax-exempt religious institution may not participate or intervene in any political campaign or on behalf of any candidate for public office. What may clergy preach from the pulpit or state in private? What constitutes organizational contribution to a political campaign? May a religious institution lobby Congress to enact legislation pursuant to and in accordance with its religious doctrine? Commitment to religious principles often comes into conflict with limitations on political or lobbying activity. Religious organizations must be well-informed or they may jeopardize their tax exempt status.
Our attorneys have represented clients in the following representative matters:
- Assisted a religious advocacy organization in informing congressional representatives about provisions proposed in legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that threatened to weaken asylum protections for religious asylum applicants. Some provisions were changed before enactment of the law.
- Advised client on changes in state and municipal lobbying regulations.
- As local counsel, filed complaint against federal commission alleging First Amendment violation in election rules restricting speech of advocacy organization. Resulted in injunction against commission.