Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Church Permitted To Intervene In Suit Against Internal Revenue Service Over Political Activity By 501(c)(3)'s

In Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Koskinen, (WD WI, Feb. 3, 2014), a Wisconsin federal district court permitted  Father Patrick Malone and the Holy Cross Anglican Church  to intervene as defendants in a lawsuit in which the Freedom From Religion Foundation is suing the Internal Revenue Service to challenge its alleged policy of not  enforcing against churches and religious organizations the Section 501(c)(3) ban on political activity by non-profits. According to the court:
Father Malone, the vicar of the church, regularly makes statements during worship services and church gatherings in which he urges members of the congregation to vote for or against certain candidates for public office..... So far, however, the IRS has not taken any action in response to the church’s activities..... But the church and Father Malone are concerned that if the Foundation obtains the relief it seeks in this lawsuit, then the IRS will be required to “punish” them for having engaged in political activity.