Statement on District Court Ruling Regarding Constitutionality of Clergy Parsonage Allowance


agudah_logoIt is with great dismay that we greet the news of U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb’s (Western District of Wisconsin) ruling that declares the “parsonage exemption” to be unconstitutional. It is a stunning reversal of long-standing practice and good public policy.

In our opinion, Judge Crabb erred in her decision, as we firmly believe that the housing allowance for members of the clergy falls squarely within acceptable First Amendment parameters.

It is our expectation that the Administration will appeal this decision and, if so, we urge it to defend the “parsonage exemption” with vigor. Agudath Israel intends to closely monitor developments in this important case and to let our views be known in court and on Capitol Hill.