Branch Ministries v. Rossotti

AU's Role: 
AU's Involvement Began: 
March 1999
Status: 

In November 1992, AU complained to the IRS that the Church at Pierce Creek (a.k.a. Branch Ministries) had violated its tax exempt status by encouraging Christians to vote against presidential candidate Bill Clinton. After a lengthy investigation, the IRS rescinded the church’s tax exemption. The church, represented by Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice, sued the IRS. In March 1999, the federal district court granted summary judgment for the government and the church appealed. On appeal, AU filed an amicus brief in support of the IRS’s revocation of tax exempt status with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which, in May 2000, affirmed the district court’s ruling that the Internal Revenue Code’s prohibitions on electioneering do not violate the Free Speech or Free Exercise Clauses.

Most Recent Developments: