In Revenue Ruling 71-447, the Internal Revenue Service expressly denied tax exemptions to racially discriminatory private schools. The Reagan administration recently challenged the existence of a defined policy prohibiting tax exemptions to these schools as well as the propriety of the IRS's involvement in regulating social policy. President Reagan has called upon Congress to settle the issue by enacting affirmative legislation. Congress, however, has maintained that long-established federal policy supports Revenue Ruling 71-447 and has refused to enact affirmative legislation. In this Article, Mr. Devins examines the conflict between the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of government and argues that Congress must rationalize the present system by incorporating federal antidiscrimination policy and judicially defined constitutional guarantees into a coherent statute.

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 1983

Publication Information

20 Harvard Journal on Legislation 153-178 (1983)