Clergy Battles over Housing Allowances


Liberty Institute, in conjunction with independent attorney Ken Klukowski, submits a friend-of-the-court brief supporting the constitutionality of clergy housing allowances in a U.S. Seventh Circuit of Appeals case, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. v. Lew. To review the brief online, follow this link:

Liberty Institute’s brief asks the court to reverse a recent ruling by the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin that declared unconstitutional the clergy housing allowance which permits members of the clergy from making tax deductions concerning their home.

“Exempting the property of ministers from government taxation is neither new or novel,” said Liberty Institute Senior CounselJustin Butterfield. “The Founders did not regard a tax exemption for religious property as conflicting with the Constitution or the Establishment Clause. Rather, tax exemption for religious institutions has been the American practice since the disestablishment of churches.”

Liberty Institute’s Butterfield and Hiram Sasser, Managing Director of Strategic Litigation, and Dallas attorney Reed Smith co-published a journal article in Spring 2012 Texas Review of Law and Politics, titled “The Parsonage Exemption Deserves Broad Protection.”

Liberty Institute is a national nonprofit legal group dedicated to defending and restoring religious liberty across America — in our schools, for our churches, inside our military and throughout the public arena. Liberty’s vision is to reestablish religious liberty in accordance with the principles of our Founding Fathers. For information, visit

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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