Law: Briefs: May 3, 1982


Critics called it "religious gerrymandering." At issue was a 1978 Minnesota law that requires religious organizations drawing more than half their money from nonmembers to comply with burdensome registration and reporting rules. Mainstream denominations do not rely heavily on outside contributions, so the law's obvious targets were newer organizations like the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church. Though Minnesota maintained that the law was a sensible way to protect the public from fraud, Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, writing for the majority, ruled that it violated the Constitution's establishment of religion clause. Said Brennan: "This statute does not...

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