Finger on the Pulse: From Our Blogroll and Beyond

  • Plaintiffs in private antitrust suit challenging “reverse payment” drug patent settlements petitions the Supreme Court.  Will FTC amicus brief follow? (FDA Law Blog)
  • So many say so much about Center for Science in the Public Interest’s “Happy Meal suit” (Overlawyered)
  • Professor Ribstein on enduring difficulties with SEC’s Regulation FD (featuring cite to his 2000 WLF Legal Opinion Letter on the regulation) (Truth on the Market)
  • Contrary to recent trend (noted here previous at The Legal Pulse), Federal Circuit refuses to transfer patent troll’s suit out of E.D. of Texas (National Law Journal)
  • Philadelphia, City of Brotherly Love and America’s top Judicial Hellhole? (Drug & Device Law)
  • Sixth Circuit rules that an email is just like a letter or a phone call for 4th Amendment purposes (Crime in the Suites)

Respect for Fundamental Freedoms Inspires U.S. Philanthropy at Its Best

As we enter the critical final two weeks of the year’s most important month for non-profit institutions which rely upon donations,* now is a good time to reflect upon the fundamental freedoms that allow Americans to be the world’s most charitable people, and contemplate why those freedoms are increasingly threatened. 

The ability to choose freely from the thousands of non-profit organizations seeking our support, to put one’s own personal, financial imprint on a cause, is one of those freedoms.  Directly related to that freedom is the ability to create a grant-making institution and designate how the institution’s money will be donated.  This same concept of “donor intent” applies when someone makes a donation aimed at a specific purpose, such as giving to a university to fund a certain educational project or endow an academic “chair.”  Federal tax policy contemplates and supports these freedoms by broadly defining which institutions qualify for tax exempt status.  As Randolph Foundation President Heather Higgins remarked in a WLF Conversations With paper this past summer:

Wisely, [the tax code] doesn’t try to classify some forms of charitable giving as more worthy than others, leaving the judgment of funding priorities to those who are deploying their own resources to make whatever difference they can. 

Unfortunately, respect for donor intent and the freedoms which underly it is in decline.   Continue reading “Respect for Fundamental Freedoms Inspires U.S. Philanthropy at Its Best”