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In re United States Catholic Conference
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
885 F.2d 1020 (1989)
Individuals and organizations that believed in the right to abortion, including clergy, taxpayers, and voters (pro-choice parties) (plaintiffs) sued to compel the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Roman Catholic Church (the church). The pro-choice parties alleged the church continually violated Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 501(c)(3)’s prohibition on political activity by promoting pro-life beliefs in the public arena. For instance, the church endorsed pro-life political candidates and donated significant sums of money to pro-life political groups. The pro-choice parties did not themselves violate § 501(c)(3) by electioneering and thus did not claim that the IRS unfairly punished them, but rather sought pure enforcement against the church. The matter reached the Supreme Court, which remanded it to the court of appeals to decide whether the pro-choice parties had standing to bring the lawsuit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Cardamone, J.)
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