Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Aprill & Brunson: The University, Ideology, And Tax Exemption

Ellen P. Aprill (Loyola-L.A.) & Samuel D. Brunson (Loyola-Chicago), The University, Ideology, and Tax Exemption, 168 Tax Notes Fed. 1037 (Aug. 10, 2020):

Tax Notes FederalIn this article, Brunson and Aprill argue that the tax law and other considerations undermine President Trump’s position that academic institutions can lose their tax-exempt status as a consequence of indoctrinating their students with liberal values.

In sum, the efforts by universities to oppose the recently announced visa rules for foreign students do not violate the lobbying limitations of section 501(c)(3), do not put into question their educational purpose, and do not violate public policy. Instead, it is the president who endorses a violation of the law when he asks federal tax administrators to examine colleges and universities on the basis of the schools’ principles and beliefs.

Scholarship, Tax, Tax Analysts, Tax Scholarship | Permalink


There are two more threats to certain forms of campus speech which appear more serious.

FIRST, the Department of Education has just issued a proposed rule to put into place the principles expressed in an earlier executive order.

The proposed rule would permit the Department of Education to suspend or eliminate federal grants allocated to public universities that courts find to have violated the First Amendment.

It would also permit the department to determine that some schools with major free-speech violations might be ineligible for any future grants.

When it comes to private universities, the Department of Education would have the authority to suspend or eliminate grants to schools that are found in court to have violated their own stated speech policies.

SECOND is a newly issued executive order which states that “it shall be the policy of the United States not to promote race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating in the Federal workforce or in the Uniformed Services, and not to allow grant funds to be used for these purposes. In addition, Federal contractors will not be permitted to inculcate such views in their employees.”

While it says that it is designed to combat “offensive and anti-American race and sex stereotyping and scapegoating,” many media outlets say that it targeting what they call “critical race theory.”

Posted by: LawProf John Banzhaf | Sep 29, 2020 1:18:00 PM