Both religious freedom advocates and secularists are claiming victory after the Freedom From Religion Foundation dropped its federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump’s May 4 executive order on religious liberty that threatened to take the teeth out of the Johnson Amendment.
This week, the nation’s largest secularist legal organization filed a notice of voluntary dismissal with the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin pertaining to the matter of FFRF v. Trump.
The lawsuit, which also listed IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, challenged Trump’s order that the Department of Treasury, and by extension the Internal Revenue Service, not take “adverse action” against a church or religious organization that speaks about “moral and political issues from a religious perspective.”
FFRF, which advocates for a strict version of separation of church and state, has been one of the biggest advocates supporting the Johnson Amendment, a 1954 law that prevents churches and other 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations from engaging in political campaigning with the punishment of losing their tax-exempt statuses.
FFRF claimed in its lawsuit that Trump’s order violates the “Take Care Clause” of Article II of the United States Constitution, which demands that the president must “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” FFRF also claimed that the executive order is unlawful because it provides “preferential treatment to churches.”
SOURCE: Samuel Smith