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Housing Allowance Challenge Continues

FFRF's renewed effort may negatively affect this important benefit.

Housing Allowance Challenge Continues

The constitutionality of the ministerial housing allowance benefit is again in question, thanks to one organization's ongoing efforts to challenge it.

On November 22, 2013, federal district court judge Barbara Crabb of the District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin struck down the ministerial housing allowance as an unconstitutional preference for religion. Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., v. Lew, 983 F. Supp. 2d 1051 (W.D. Wis. 2013). The ruling was in response to a lawsuit brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). The federal government, which defended the housing allowance since it is a federal statute, asked the court to dismiss the lawsuit on the ground that the plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue their claim in federal court.

Standing is a constitutional requirement of any plaintiff in a federal case and generally means that a plaintiff must have suffered ...

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Posted:
  • January 13, 2017

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