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First Amendment Library:
Michael W. McConnell


This case presents the question whether the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment prohibit a State from imposing a generally applicable sales and use tax on the distribution of religious materials by a religious organization.


The University of Virginia, a public university, used public money to subsidize publishing costs for nonreligious student groups. The university denied funds to a Christian student group that requested financial assistance to publish a newspaper that would “challenge Christians to live, in word and deed, according to the faith they proclaim and to encourage students to consider what a personal relationship with Jesus Christ means.”