Federal Court Ruling Striking Clergy Tax Housing Allowance an Act of Supreme Arrogance

WASHINGTON, D.C. -  Today Family Research Council expressed strong disagreement with a ruling on Friday by U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb declaring that the clergy housing tax allowance is unconstitutional.  Family Research Council's "Watchmen on the Wall" pastors network is comprised of nearly 25,000 churches from across the country.  

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins made the following comments:

"We have seen many courts over the years attempt to banish God in various ways from the public square, but this case in particular reveals a level of supreme arrogance.  Once again, Judge Crabb has neglected to consult the Constitution that she was sworn to uphold.    Society has long provided this tax housing allowance to clergy because of the tremendous benefit that churches in turn give to society.  Clergy help carry the burden of many social ills that would otherwise become the burden of taxpayers and the federal government. 

"The Supreme Court has made perfectly clear that neither taxpayers or organizations have standing to bring federal lawsuits with this sort of challenge because the law they are challenging has not caused them any direct harm.    This same judge who struck down the National Day of Prayer as unconstitutional has now turned her sights on this tax housing allowance that has been the law for generations. She had ruled the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional and the Seventh Circuit later ruled that this very same plaintiff, the Freedom from Religion Foundation, had not suffered an injury due to the law and so lacked standing to sue in the first place.  Evidently, Judge Crabb needs to reread what the federal appeals court did the last time she issued this kind of a ruling.  Family Research Council will continue to monitor this case closely on behalf of the nearly 25,000 clergy that comprise our pastors network," concluded Perkins.

Ken Klukowski, FRC's Director of the Center for Religious Liberty added the following comments:

"Since the U.S Supreme Court has made crystal clear that these sorts of laws do not injure anyone, we expect the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago to promptly reverse this decision.  This is a decision that flies in the face of controlling precedent," concluded Klukowski.