Monday, October 9, 2017
Herzig and Brunson: Let Prophets Be (Non) Profits
David Herzig (Valpraiso School of Law) and Samuel D. Brunson (Loyola University Chicago School of Law) have posted their forthcoming article, Let Profits Be (Non) Profits, Wake Forest Law Review, on SSRN. Below is the abstract of their article:
In this article, we take a step back and ask whether the Supreme Court’s application of the fundamental public policy rule as espoused in the Bob Jones case is the normatively correct position. In our analysis, we conclude that using fundamental public policy as a filter in granting tax exemption gets both tax and public policy wrong. Our conclusion is informed by the history of the role played by public charities espousing minority views. We believe that a legitimate space in society should exist and populated by nonprofits to both espouse popular and unpopular minority views. But it is also informed by tax policy: applying the fundamental public policy rule to qualification for tax exemption misunderstand how exemption fits into the corporate income tax. Ultimately we conclude that homogeneity of viewpoint is normatively detrimental to a robust society. Therefore, in order to allow nonconforming views, we propose that the proper sector to house those views is in an expansionist version of the nonprofit sector.