Judge Napolitano: ‘Are You Willing To Sacrifice Freedom Of Speech’ In Return For Tax Exemption?

Judge Andrew Napolitano stopped by Fox & Friends‘ curvy couch on Tuesday to discuss the IRS tax codes prohibiting tax-exempt organizations like churches from “engaging in political discussion.”

“It is an age-old problem,” said Napolitno. “The basic principle of law is, if you want this tax exemption — meaning the people that contribute money to you do not have to pay taxes on the contribution, and the money that your group, whether it’s the archdiocese of New York or a very small independent, freestanding churches receives — is not subject to taxation. Are you willing to sacrifice freedom of speech in return for that privilege? And the freedom pf speeh, the limitations on it are pretty precise. Full-time clergy employed by a full-time, legitimate church that receives this exemption cannot in an official capacity advocate for or against legislation or for or against specific candidates.”

Napolitano noted that the last time this was really tested was when Cardinal O’Connor said that “no Roman Catholic can vote for Mondale / Ferraro” because VP candidate Geraldine Ferraro was a Catholic who supported abortion.

Later in the segment, Napolitano was asked about Media Matters’ tax exempt status, responding that it has to function under the same standards and rules as religious groups do, so they also have “theoretically, the same prohibition.”

Have a look at what he had to say, via Fox News:

Have a tip we should know?

  1. Mediaite
  2. The Mary Sue
  3. RunwayRiot
  4. LawNewz
  5. Gossip Cop