NONPROFIT & PHILANTHROPY LAW eJOURNAL

"Limits on State Regulation of Religious Organizations: Where We Are and Where We Are Going" Free Download
Notre Dame Legal Studies Paper No. 1521

LLOYD HITOSHI MAYER, Notre Dame Law School
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The breadth of activities and organizational forms among religious organizations rivals that of nonprofits generally, and religious organizations are vulnerable to the same types of problems that justify state regulation and oversight of nonprofits. Such problems include excessive compensation, improper benefits for board members and other insiders, misleading or fraudulent fundraising, employment discrimination, unsafe working conditions, consumer fraud, improper debt collection, and many others. Religious organizations are different, however, in that under federal and state law they enjoy unique protections from state regulation.

This paper describes how such federal and state protections limit state regulation of religious organizations under current case law. It also explores the tension between the general ability of states to apply neutral and generally applicable laws to religiously motivated conduct and the special legal protections provided for some internal actions of religious organizations — particularly employment actions relating to ministers and certain internal disputes. It concludes by exploring how courts are likely to develop such limits in the future.

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About this eJournal

This eJournal distributes working and accepted paper abstracts in the fields of nonprofit law and policy, philanthropy law and policy and related areas of scholarship. Thus, drafts and articles that concern nonprofit corporations, charities, charitable corporations, charitable organizations, charitable donations, charitable foundations, charitable fundraising, charitable solicitation, charitable trusts, philanthropy, private foundations, nongovernmental organizations, tax-exempt organizations, tax-exempt corporations, private clubs, membership clubs and similar topics are appropriate for this journal.

Editor: David A. Brennen, University of Kentucky

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LSN SUBJECT MATTER EJOURNALS

BERNARD S. BLACK
Northwestern University - School of Law, Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Email: bblack@northwestern.edu

RONALD J. GILSON
Stanford Law School, Columbia Law School, European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Email: rgilson@leland.stanford.edu

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Advisory Board

Nonprofit & Philanthropy Law eJournal

ELLEN P. APRILL
John E. Anderson Professor of Tax Law, Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Loyola Law School Los Angeles

EVELYN BRODY
Professor of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law

JOHN DAVID COLOMBO
Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Professor of Law, University of Illinois College of Law

HARVEY P. DALE
University Professor of Philanthropy and the Law, Director - National Center on Philanthropy and the Law, New York University School of Law

DARRYLL K. JONES
Professor of Law, Stetson University College of Law

BEVERLY I. MORAN
Professor of Law and Sociology, Vanderbilt University - Law School

STEPHEN SCHWARZ
Professor of Law Emeritus, University of California, Hastings College of the Law

STEVEN J. WILLIS
Professor of Law, University of Florida - Fredric G. Levin College of Law