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Bob Jones University v. United States 461 U.S. 574 (1983)

BOB JONES UNIVERSITY v. UNITED STATES 461 U.S. 574 (1983)

The Internal Revenue Service adopted a policy in 1969 of denying federal income tax exemption, available by statute to educational and religious institutions, to schools that practiced racial discrimination. Bob Jones University, an institution that had a multiracial student body but restricted interracial socializing, and Goldsboro Christian Schools, which practiced racial segregation on the basis of religious conviction, sought to have their tax-exempt status reinstated. In an opinion by Chief Justice warren e. burger, the Supreme Court held, 8–1, that the Internal Revenue Service had the power, even without explicit statutory authorization, to enforce by its regulations a "settled public policy" against racial discrimination in education. None of the Justices accepted the schools' claim that the regulations infringed on the First Amendment's guarantee of religious liberty, but Justice william h. rehnquist, dissenting, warned of the danger of abrogating the separation of powers.

Dennis J. Mahoney
(1986)

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