- Next week, the Family Research Council will host the 4th annual Blogs for Life conference which will feature the likes of Senator Sam Brownback, Amanda Carpenter, Jill Stanek, Michael New, and Charmaine Yoest.
- The Nation has an interesting article on just how much clout Rick Warren has. Several years ago, the IRS went after Warren, accusing him of exceeding the tax exemption members of the clergy receive for their housing and using that provision to avoid paying taxes on his salary, but before the court could rule, Congress stepped in and passed a law to protect him:
- Finally, if you have 13 minutes to waste, take a look at this interview with Alan Keyes as he explains the paramount importance of determining Barack Obama’s citizenship in his typically rambling and long-winded manner.
But before the three-judge panel could rule, either on the IRS effort to collect back taxes from Warren or on [Erwin] Chemerinsky’s broader argument for declaring the entire exemption unconstitutional, Congress stepped in–and acted with “almost miraculous” speed, as Richard Hammar, editor of the Church Law & Tax Report newsletter, explained to the New York Times. The new law granted Warren his deductions (along with any other clergy who had done the same–although Warren was the only one to end up in court). Congress also put into law, from that time forward, the IRS’s “fair rental value” rule.
The Clergy Housing Allowance Clarification Act of 2002 was approved unanimously by Congress, then signed into law by George W. Bush on May 20, 2002, rendering the IRS case against Warren moot. “I have filed hundreds of briefs in federal courts,” Chemerinsky told me, “and this is the only time that Congress passed a law to make a specific pending case moot.” He added, “It is very rare for Congress to pass a law to make a pending case moot before there was a decision.”