NEW YORK (Jul. 11)
The National Alliance, described by the American Jewish Congress as an openly racist group, plans to appeal a federal appeals court decision denying it tax exempt status, the AJCongress said it learned today.
A ruling which overturned a lower court decision upholding tax exemption for the Alliance was hailed by an AJCongress official as a major step in closing a tax loophole used by such organizations as the Alliance to finance virulent anti-Semitic and racist propaganda.
Norman Redlich, co-chairman of the AJCongress commission on law and social action, said this was the first known decision denying a federal tax exemption to a group whose program consists of issuing racist propaganda.
The Alliance, a Virginia corporation with its office in Arlington, had argued that it was entitled to tax exemption because it served an “educational function.” The federal district court for the District of Columbia, had ordered the Internal Revenue Service, on May 27, 1981, to grant the exemption. The IRS appealed the lower court decision.
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned last June 28 the lower court order, ruling that the Alliance did not meet requirements set up by Congress for tax exemption because Alliance materials were not “educational” under “any reasonable interpretation” of that term.
The stated purpose of the Alliance is “arousing in white Americans of European ancestry an understanding of and a pride in their racial and cultural heritage and an awareness of the present dangers to that heritage.”
SEES NO DANGER TO FIRST AMENDMENT
Redlich said that decision, if upheld on any further appeals, would insure that American taxpayers would not be forced to subsidize the publication and distribution, under the guise of educational activities, of crude anti-Semitic and other racist materials. Redlich, who is dean of the New York University law school, said the appeals court decision did not in any way endanger First Amendment rights. The AJCongress filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the IRS position.
Redlich said the Alliance’s principal publication, “Attack!” published in newspaper format, contains stories, pictures and editorials alleging that “non-whites” — principally Blacks — are inferior to white Americans of European ancestry, and are aggressively harmful and dangerous, and that “Jewish control” of United States government policy is harmful to the interests of white Americans of European ancestry.
The appeals court decision declared that “even under the most minimal requirement of a rational development of a point of view, National Alliance’s materials fall short. The material may express emotions felt by a number of people, but it cannot reasonably be considered intellectual exposition.”
If the Alliance implements plans to appeal, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency was told, it has two options. It may ask for a re-hearing of the case by the Court of Appeals or it may seek a Supreme Court review of the appeals court ruling. The JTA also was told AJCongress officials do not have information on when the Alliance will appeal the circuit court ruling or which option it plans to choose.