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By the Hand Club for Kids v. Illinois Department of Employment Security

Description:  The Illinois Department of Employment Security attempted to assess unemployment compensation taxes to By The Hand Club For Kids, a ministry of The Moody Church, even though it had qualified as nontaxable since its creation in 2001. The ministry has provided chapel services and Bible studies in addition to free food and medical care to underprivileged children.


Illinois Appellate Court halts agency’s attempt to tax religious ministry to underprivileged children

Thursday, Dec 31, 2020
The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Jeremiah Galus regarding the Illinois Appellate Court’s ruling Wednesday that the Illinois Department of Employment Security can’t assess unemployment compensation taxes to By The Hand Club For Kids, a ministry of The Moody Church that provides assistance to underprivileged children:

“By The Hand’s afterschool ministry to needy schoolchildren is directly motivated by its Christian faith and convictions. For years, an Illinois government agency has insisted on taxing By The Hand, a religious non-profit ministry, because it is meeting many diverse, practical needs of children in its community. We’re thankful that the Illinois Appellate Court has rejected the state’s flawed arguments and recognized that By The Hand’s provision of free food, free medical care, and free education is an act of worship, a genuine exercise of faith. The state agency truly ‘erred by recharacterizing them as secular activities’ and we’re hopeful that the court’s important decision motivates other state governments to respect their faith-based allies and the important ways ministries serve under-resourced communities.”
 
  • Pronunciation guide: Galus (GAL’-us)
 
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
 
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Additional resources: By the Hand Club for Kids v. Illinois Department of Employment Security

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Legal Documents

Plaintiff's memorandum of law in support of complaint: By the Hand Club for Kids v. Illinois Department of Employment Security
Plaintiff's reply in support of complaint: By the Hand Club for Kids v. Illinois Department of Employment Security
Illinois Appellate Court opinion: By the Hand Club for Kids v. Illinois Department of Employment Security
Opinion: By the Hand Club for Kids v. Illinois Department of Employment Security

Related Resources

ABOUT Jeremiah Galus
Jeremiah Galus serves as senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, where he is a key member of the Center for Christian Ministries. Since joining ADF in 2015, Galus has focused on protecting the freedom of Christian ministries, schools, and churches to exercise their faith without government interference. Prior to joining ADF, Galus worked as an attorney with a large law firm in Washington, D.C., where he focused on complex civil litigation before state and federal trial and appellate courts. Galus also served as a prosecutor for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office in Arizona. He earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 2009 and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in government and political affairs from Millersville University in 2006. Galus also completed the ADF leadership development program to become a Blackstone Fellow in 2007 and is a member of the state bar in Arizona, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia.