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Marty: An Open Letter to Tony Ortega

Discussion in 'Independent Scientology' started by Zhongjianren, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. tikk Member

    The reason the Sklars' injury did not provide them with standing was because tuition payments were not considered comparable to payments for scientology auditing. Independent scientology payments for auditing are effectively identical to CoS payments for auditing.
  2. Xinjifar Member

    If you're talking about the 9th Circuit Court ruling, I have to disagree. There the reason for rejection was that it was irrelevant that Scientology was getting an illegal break to determine that Sklar's action had standing or validity. The Court specifically denied 'equal protection' by suggesting that 'equality' would mean removing Scientology's illegal tax break; not accepting Sklar's demand.
  3. tikk Member

    I probably should've said "basis" instead of "standing" (the Sklars' cases were never Standing cases although hypothetical permutations of the issues raised implicated the Flast/Hein tax-payer standing doctrine) but my point nevertheless holds. A core finding of the original Tax Court opinion and basis for its rejection of the Sklars' claimed deduction, on which both 9th Circuit decisions ultimately cited and relied, was that the Sklars' tuition payments were not analogous to Scientology auditing payments, undoing both their administrative inconsistency and establishment clause arguments. The reason neither 9th Circuit opinion addressed in any depth the question of whether they were or weren't analogous is because whether they are or aren't is a factual question (which appeals courts are bound by unless "clearly erroneous"). Both Circuit panels flirted with the question some, but both ultimately relied on the Tax Court's finding (and affirmed).

    If the payments were in fact found to be analogous by the Tax Court, the appeal would've been on a much closer question. The Sklars were never similarly situated as Scientologists deducting auditing, but Independent Scientologists are. If the IRS were to reject auditing payment deductions from Independents that they otherwise permit by CoS-members, the disparate treatment is far more clear and the injury directly traceable to the disparate treatment. The IRS would be forced to defend not why one religious group was getting A and another getting B, but the far more difficult task of defending why one sect within the same religion was being favored over the other. They'd obviously be wise to just approve whatever deduction anyone attempted which happened to include the term "Scientology" on it, but I think there's a pretty good chance that at the IRS's administrative level, anything that didn't come through on the right form would get denied.
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  4. Tin_Foil Member

    Mr. Pilutik, I've been wondering....how is it that you didn't make Law Review? I've read worse opinions in Harvard Law Review than your LexisNexis trail (unless I've not been searching correctly). You are one incredibly sexy man with an amazing brain. I only wish that I had met you when I was in law school.
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  5. tikk Member

    Thanks, I think. Your TRO is in the mail ;) I made the international law journal, similar to law review except restricted to international law issues.
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