Sunday, January 26, 2014
Forbes: Obama Administration Weak on Church State Separation? Clergy Housing Allowance Appeal, by Peter J. Reilly:
The Justice Department has given notice that it will be appealing Judge Barbara Crabb’s decision that the income tax exemption of cash housing allowances paid to “ministers of the gospel” (Code § 107(2)) is unconstitutional. [Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Lew (W.D. Wisc. Nov. 22, 2013)] Freedom From Religion Foundation, the plaintiff in the case along with a couple of its officers who were paid housing allowances they could not exclude, commented on the appeal. ... The interesting question is whether President Obama thinks that § 107(2) is constitutional. In the case of DOMA, he ordered the Justice Department to stop defending a statute that they determined was unconstitutional. ... [W]e can be pretty sure that there will be a good flow of amicus briefs from those with a stake in the housing allowance.