Professor Roger Colinvaux Prognosticates
about the Future of Charities and Political Speech
On Oct. 28, Professor Roger Colinvaux presented his paper “Citizens United and the Political Speech of Charities” at a conference sponsored by the National Center on Philanthropy and the Law at the New York University School of Law. The two-day conference, titled “Nonprofit Speech in the 21st Century: Time for a Change?” brought together an invited audience of about 100 leading academics, legal practitioners, and government officials from the areas of tax and campaign finance law.
The conference was convened to discuss the implications of the Supreme Court’s recent landmark decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a ruling which greatly impacts on the ability of nonprofit organizations to become involved in political campaign and lobbying activities.
Professor Colinvaux’s paper discussed the constitutional implications of Citizens United on the tax law rule that prohibits charities from engaging in political activity, and examines possible alternative approaches to charitable political speech in the event that the tax law rules are held unconstitutional.