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This "charitable" concept appears explicitly in § 170 of the Code. That section contains a list of organizations virtually identical to that contained in § 501(c)(3). Whatever may be the rationale for such private schools' policies, racial discrimination in education is contrary to public policy. (c) The IRS did not exceed its authority when it announced its interpretation of § 501(c)(3) in 19. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which BRENNAN, WHITE, MARSHALL, BLACKMUN, STEVENS, and O'CONNOR, JJ., joined, and in Part III of which POWELL, J., joined. The court permanently enjoined the Commissioner of [p579] Internal Revenue from approving tax-exempt status for any school in Mississippi that did not publicly maintain a policy of nondiscrimination. or educational purposes" was intended to express the basic common law concept [of "charity"]. Its purpose is "to conduct an institution [p580] of learning . giving special emphasis to the Christian religion and the ethics revealed in the Holy Scriptures." Certificate of Incorporation, Bob Jones University, Inc., of Greenville, S. Entering students are screened as to their religious beliefs, and their public and private conduct is strictly regulated by standards promulgated by University authorities. 1127 (DC 1970), the IRS formally notified the University of the change in IRS policy, and announced its intention to challenge the tax-exempt status of private schools practicing racial discrimination in their admissions policies. 725 (1974), in which this Court held that the Anti-Injunction Act of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U. Thereafter, on April 16, 1975, the IRS notified the University of the proposed revocation of its tax-exempt status. housing and related facilities from which Americans are excluded because of their race, color, creed, or national origin is unfair, unjust, and inconsistent with the public policy of [p595] the United States as manifested in its Constitution and laws. In § 170 and § 501(c)(3), Congress has identified categories of traditionally exempt institutions and has specified certain additional requirements for tax exemption. 517(1) (1921), for example, the IRS's predecessor denied charitable exemptions on the basis of proscribed political activity before the Congress itself added such conduct as a disqualifying element. On the record before us, there can be no doubt as to the national policy. Clearly an educational institution engaging in [p599] practices affirmatively at odds with this declared position of the whole Government cannot be seen as exercising a "beneficial and stabilizing influenc[e] in community life," 397 U. at 673, and is not "charitable," within the meaning of § 170 and § 501(c)(3). Petitioner Goldsboro Christian Schools admits that it "maintain[s] racially discriminatory policies," Brief for Petitioner in No. 10, but seeks to justify those policies on grounds we have fully discussed. For example, the Bogerts state: In return for the favorable treatment accorded charitable gifts which imply some disadvantage to the community, the courts must find in the trust which is to be deemed "charitable" some real advantages to the public which more than offset the disadvantages arising out of special privileges accorded charitable trusts. Racially discriminatory educational institutions cannot be viewed as conferring a public benefit within the above "charitable" concept or within the congressional intent underlying § 501(c)(3). Such interpretation is wholly consistent with what Congress, the Executive, and the courts had previously declared. (d) The Government's fundamental, overriding interest in eradicating racial discrimination in education substantially outweighs whatever burden denial of tax benefits places on petitioners' exercise of their religious beliefs. (e) The IRS properly applied its policy to both petitioners. POWELL, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, TOP Opinion BURGER, C. Thereafter, in July, 1970, the IRS concluded that it could "no longer legally justify allowing tax-exempt status [under § 501(c)(3)] to private schools which practice racial discrimination." IRS News Release, July 7, 1970, reprinted in App. The revised policy on discrimination was formalized in Revenue Ruling 71-447, 1971-2 Cum. 230: Both the courts and the Internal Revenue Service have long recognized that the statutory requirement of being "organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, . The sponsors of the University genuinely believe that the Bible forbids interracial dating and marriage. The University continues to deny admission to applicants engaged in an interracial marriage or known to advocate interracial marriage or dating. After failing to obtain an assurance of tax exemption through administrative means, the University instituted an action in 1971 seeking to enjoin the IRS from revoking the school's tax-exempt status. On January 19, 1976, the IRS officially revoked the University's tax-exempt status, effective as of December 1, 1970, the day after the University was formally notified of the change in IRS policy. And in 1962, President Kennedy announced: [T]he granting of Federal assistance for . Yet the need for continuing interpretation of those statutes is unavoidable. In other instances, the IRS has denied charitable exemptions to otherwise qualified entities because they served too limited a class of people, and thus did not provide a truly "public" benefit under the common law test. In 1970, when the IRS first issued the ruling challenged here, the position of all three branches of the Federal Government was unmistakably clear. We therefore hold that the IRS did not exceed its authority when it announced its interpretation of § 170 and § 501(c)(3) in 19. That provision denies tax-exempt status to social clubs whose charters or policy statements provide for "discrimination against any person on the basis of race, color, or religion." Both the House and Senate Committee Reports on that bill articulated the national policy against granting tax exemptions to racially discriminatory private clubs. The IRS properly denied tax-exempt status to Goldsboro Christian Schools. The District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina decided the action on cross-motions for summary judgment. Accordingly, the court entered summary judgment for the IRS on its counterclaim. In 1861, this Court stated that a public charitable use must be "consistent with local laws and public policy," When the Government grants exemptions or allows deductions all taxpayers are affected; the very fact of the exemption or deduction for the donor means that other taxpayers can be said to be indirect and vicarious "donors." Charitable exemptions are justified on the basis that the exempt entity confers a public benefit -- a benefit which the society or the community may not itself choose or be able to provide, or which supplements and advances the work of public institutions already supported by tax revenues. Other sections of that Act, and numerous enactments since then, testify to the public policy against racial discrimination. Simon, The Tax-Exempt Status of Racially Discriminatory Religious Schools, 36 Tax L. The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed, 644 F.2d 879 (1981) (per curiam). or educational purposes" are entitled to tax exemption. History buttresses [p592] logic to make clear that, to warrant exemption under § 501(c)(3), an institution must fall within a category specified in that section and must demonstrably serve and be in harmony with the public interest. Goldsboro has for the most part accepted only Caucasians. [p600] Ordinarily, and quite appropriately, courts are slow to attribute significance to the failure of Congress to act on particular legislation. Exhaustive hearings have been held on the issue at various times since then. Not one of these bills has emerged from any committee, although Congress has enacted numerous other amendments to § 501 during this same period, including an amendment to § 501(c)(3) itself. The Government suggested that these actions were therefore moot. The Government continues to assert that the IRS lacked authority to promulgate Revenue Ruling 71-447, and does not defend that aspect of the rulings below. 509, Liles & Blum, Development of the Federal Tax Treatment of Charities, 39 Law & Contemp. This assertion dissolves when one sees that § 501(c)(3) and § 170 are construed together, as they must be. We need not consider whether Congress intended to incorporate into the Internal Revenue Code any aspects of charitable trust law other than the requirements of public benefit and a valid public purpose. 601 (1895), for reasons unrelated to the charitable exemption provision. A similar exemption has been included in every income tax Act since the adoption of the Sixteenth Amendment, beginning with the Revenue Act of 1913, ch.
Such an examination reveals unmistakable evidence that, underlying all relevant parts of the Code, is the intent that entitlement to tax exemption depends on meeting certain common law standards of charity -- namely, that an institution seeking tax-exempt status must serve a public purpose and not be contrary to established public policy.
[p584] Goldsboro paid the IRS ,459.93 in withholding, social security, and unemployment taxes with respect to one employee for the years 1969 through 1972. In addressing the motions for summary judgment, the court assumed that Goldsboro's racially discriminatory admissions policy was based upon a sincerely held religious belief. While the eight categories of institutions specified in the statute are indeed presumptively charitable in nature, the IRS properly considered principles of charitable trust law in determining whether the institutions in question may truly be considered "charitable" for purposes of entitlement to the tax benefits conferred by § 170 and § 501(c)(3). The House Report on the Tax Reform Act of 1969, Pub.
Thereafter, Goldsboro filed a suit seeking refund of that payment, claiming that the school had been improperly denied § 501(c)(3) exempt status. The court nevertheless rejected Goldsboro's claim to tax-exempt status under § 501(c) (3), finding that private schools maintaining racially discriminatory admissions policies violate clearly declared federal policy, and therefore must be denied the federal tax benefits flowing from qualification under Section 501(c)(3). The court also rejected Goldsboro's arguments that denial of tax-exempt status violated the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment. [p591] A corollary to the public benefit principle is the requirement, long recognized in the law of trusts, that the purpose of a charitable trust may not be illegal or violate established public policy. §§ 2000c 2000c-6, 2000d, clearly expressed its agreement that racial discrimination in education violates a fundamental public policy. The form and history of the charitable exemption and deduction sections of the various income tax Acts reveal that Congress was guided by the common law of charitable trusts.
I A Until 1970, the Internal Revenue Service granted tax-exempt status to private schools, without regard to their racial admissions policies, under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, 26 U. Since May 29, 1975, the University has permitted unmarried Negroes to enroll; but a disciplinary rule prohibits interracial dating and marriage. Students who are partners in an interracial marriage will be expelled. Students who are members of or affiliated with any group or organization which holds as one of its goals or advocates interracial marriage will be expelled. Students who date outside of their own race will be expelled. Students who espouse, promote, or encourage others to violate the University's dating rules and regulations will be expelled. The Government counterclaimed for unpaid federal unemployment taxes for the taxable years 1971 through 1975, in the amount of 9,675.59, plus interest. The Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, in a divided opinion, reversed. In the court's view, Bob Jones University did not meet this requirement, since its racial policies violated the clearly defined public policy, rooted in our Constitution, condemning racial discrimination and, more specifically, the government policy against subsidizing racial discrimination in education, public or private. The court held that the IRS acted within its statutory authority in revoking the University's tax-exempt status. Several years before this Court's decision in President Truman issued Executive Orders prohibiting racial discrimination in federal employment decisions, Exec. 9980, 3 CFR 720 (1943-1948 Comp.), and in classifications for the Selective Service, Exec. Yet, for a dozen years, Congress has been made aware -- acutely aware -- of the IRS rulings of 19. Congress affirmatively manifested its acquiescence in the IRS policy when it enacted the present § 501(i) of the Code, Act of Oct. Although a ban on intermarriage or interracial dating applies to all races, decisions of this Court firmly establish that discrimination on the basis of racial affiliation and association is a form of racial discrimination, also on certiorari to the same court. and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Beginning in 1973, Bob Jones University instituted an exception to this rule, allowing applications from unmarried Negroes who had been members of the University staff for four years or more. Goldsboro also asserted that it was not obliged to pay taxes on lodging furnished to its teachers.
The United States District Court for the District of South Carolina held that revocation of the University's tax-exempt status exceeded the delegated powers of the IRS, was improper under the IRS rulings and procedures, and violated the University's rights under the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment. Finally, the Court of Appeals rejected petitioner's arguments that the revocation of the tax exemption violated the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment. The school offers classes from kindergarten through high school, and, since at least 1969, has satisfied the State of North Carolina's requirements for secular education in private schools. As we noted earlier, few issues have been the subject of more vigorous and widespread debate and discussion in and out of Congress than those related to racial segregation in education. Here, however, we do not have an ordinary claim of legislative acquiescence. It is hardly conceivable that Congress -- and in this setting, any Member of Congress -- was not abundantly [p601] aware of what was going on. Section 501(c)(3) lists the following organizations, which, pursuant to § 501(a), are exempt from taxation unless denied tax exemptions under other specified sections of the Code: Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation . (Emphasis added.) Section 170(a) allows deductions for certain "charitable contributions." Section 170(c)(2)(B) includes within the definition of "charitable contribution" a contribution or gift to or for the use of a corporation "organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes. According to the interpretation espoused by Goldsboro, race is determined by descendance from one of Noah's three sons -- Ham, Shem, and Japheth. It does not ask this Court to review the rejection of that claim.
And the actions of Congress since 1970 leave no doubt that the IRS reached the correct conclusion in exercising its authority. Petitioners' asserted interests cannot be accommodated with that compelling governmental interest, and no less restrictive means are available to achieve the governmental interest. Goldsboro admits that it maintains racially discriminatory policies, and, contrary to Bob Jones University's contention that it is not racially discriminatory, discrimination on the basis of racial affiliation and association is a form of racial discrimination. J., Opinion of the Court CHIEF JUSTICE BURGER delivered the opinion of the Court. To effectuate these views, Negroes were completely excluded until 1971. The University subsequently filed returns under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act for the period from December 1, 1970, to December 31, 1975, and paid a tax [p582] totalling $21 on one employee for the calendar year of 1975. 1150 (DC 1971), with approval, the Court of Appeals concluded that § 501(c)(3) must be read against the background of charitable trust law. For more than 60 years, the IRS and its predecessors have constantly been called upon to interpret these and comparable provisions, and in doing so have referred consistently to principles of charitable trust law. The correctness of the Commissioner's conclusion that a racially discriminatory private school "is not ‘charitable' within the common law concepts reflected in . D The actions of Congress since 1970 leave no doubt that the IRS reached the correct conclusion in exercising its authority. Petitioner Bob Jones University, however, contends that it is not racially discriminatory. 230, defined "racially nondiscriminatory policy as to students" as meaning that the school admits the students of any race to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at that school, and that the school does not discriminate on the basis of race in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs. The Solicitor of Internal Revenue looked to the common law of charitable trusts in construing that provision, and noted that "generally bequests for the benefit and advantage of the general public are valid as charities." Sol.