Skip to content

Tessaye Johnson

Shut Up & Dribble; Elena Delle Donne : 3/7/18

Kayla Johnson, Justin Tinsley, Tesfaye Negussie and Terrika Foster-Brasby weigh in on Kobe Bryant's Academy Award win, Shaqueem Griffin's combine performance and welcome WNBA All-Star Elena Delle Donne to the show. Plus, days after LeBron James calls the NCAA "corrupt," we host our 2nd #FanDuel on if the NCAA should pay its players.

Run Me My Money; Jalen Rose Joins: 2/28/18

The Plug crew delves into the FBI's NCAA investigation with ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose. Plus, they discuss another Jalen's twitter rant, the upcoming Oscars and more.

NBA All-Star Edition: Chris Tucker : 2/21/18

Chiney Ogwumike, Kayla Johnson, Justin Tinsley and Tesfaye Negussie recap the festivities in Los Angeles for NBA All-Star weekend. Plus, comedian Chris Tucker joins the show who talks about his career, his relationship with Tupac Shakur and Michael Jackson and drops an exclusive announcement.

The Champs Are Here; NBA w/ Stephen A. : 2/14/18

The Plug gears up for NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles when First Take's Stephen A. Smith stops by to talk all things basketball. Also, we close out the NFL when the Super Bowl LII champion Eagles join!

Dear Black Athlete: 2/12/18

Dear Black Athlete is a series of conversations tackling the challenges of being a professional athlete while being Black in America's social climate. Led by Cari Champion, the special features letters and discussion from notable civic leaders and sports figures.

Super Week, Super Guest: Sydelle Noel: 2/7/18

Chiney Ogwumike, Justin Tinsley, Kayla Johnson and Tesfaye Negussie recap all that was Super Bowl 52. Plus, they break down the NBA's latest and get the inside scoop on Black Panther with actress Sydelle Noel.

Super Bowl Time: Who Ya Got?: 1/31/18

Chiney Ogwumike, Kayla Johnson, Justin Tinsley and Tesfaye Negussie weigh in on Blake Griffin's trade to the Pistons and more. Also, the crew hosts a 'Fan Faceoff' to prep for Super Bowl LII and welcome Super Bowl XXVI Champions Art Monk, Darrell Green and Tim Johnson to the show.

And The Nominees Are... : Jemele Hill : 1/24/18

Chiney Ogwumike, Kayla Johnson, Justin Tinsley and Tesfaye Negussie welcome SC6's Jemele Hill who recaps the NAACP Image awards and weighs in on the NFL & NBA mid-season awards - Plug style! Plus, the crew talks Super Bowl and more.

Fight Night: Francis Ngannou: 1/17/18

Chiney Ogwumike, Justin Tinsley, Kayla Johnson and Tesfaye Negussie recap the NBA on MLK Day, discuss the miracle in Minnesota and welcome UFC's Francis Ngannou ahead of his UFC 220 matchup with Stipe Miocic.

Stephania Bell & Shakyla Hill : 1/10/18

Chiney Ogwumike, Kayla Johnson, Justin Tinsley & Tesfaye Negussie welcome ESPN NFL injury analyst Stephania Bell to the show to break down Wild Card Weekend. Plus, we hear from Grambling G Shakyla Hill on her history making quadruple-double.

Happy New Year; Mike Golic Jr..: 1/3/18

Chiney Ogwumike, Kayla Johnson and Tesfaye Negussie are back for 2018, and they are plugged in with ESPN Radio's Mike Golic Jr. They discuss the CFB Playoffs, the NFL postseason, Isaiah Thomas' return and much more!

Pure Gold: 12/19/17

Chiney Ogwumike, Justin Tinsley, Kayla Johnson and Tesfaye Negussie welcome The Undefeated's Aaron Dodson to talk Kobe Bryant's jersey retirement. Plus, rapper Dave East joins to discuss his relationship with Kevin Durant, thoughts on Lonzo Ball, new mixtape "Karma" and much more!

Empire State Of Mind: 12/13/17

Chiney Ogwumike, Justin Tinsley, Kayla Johnson and Tesfaye Negussie chats with Jets LB Demario Davis who weighs in on the NFL social movement and the social coalition. Plus, the crew breaks down the Golden Globe nominations and much more!

The Debut: 12/6/17

It's the debut of The Plug, hosted by Chiney Ogwumike, Kayla Johnson, Justin Tinsley and Tesfaye Negussie. In episode 1, the crew dives into current events, discuss LaVar Ball's latest news, NFL social activism and more. Plus, hip hop icons Jadakiss and Fabolous join.

BONUS: 30 for 30 Season Two Sneak Peek: 10/30/17

All Day shares the trailer for Season Two of 30 for 30 Podcasts, launching November 14th, as well as one of our favorite episodes from Season One, The Fighter Inside.

All Things Go: 10/19/17

Clinton Yates sits down with musician Kweku Collins at the All Things Go Festival, and caught up with Mike Wise at the Washington Wizards' home opener to talk about the reimagined NBA Top 50 players list from The Undefeated and preview the 2017-18 season in the league.

All Day 10/5/17

Clinton Yates catches up with Richard Ingraham, private chef of the Cleveland Cavaliers' Dwyane Wade and Hollywood star Gabrielle Union, and he took a trip to Los Angeles to see Nike unveil its newest NBA uniforms.

All Day 9/7/17: 9/8/17

Back for the fall, Clinton Yates talks to World Long Drive Champions Troy Mullins and Maurice Allen, and while in Los Angeles, he sat down with Signature Tracks - the production group who make music for some of your favorite reality shows like Keeping Up With The Kardashians - and also were instrumental in the early days of Kobe Bryant's rap career.

The Undefeated Presents: The 50 Greatest Black Athletes: 8/6/17

The Undefeated's Aaron Dodson, Justin Tinsley, & Jerry Bembry join hosts Clinton Yates & Mina Kimes to discuss the countdown to the 50 Greatest Black Athletes list.

All Day: 7/20/17

Clinton attended the X-Games in Minneapolis and talked to analyst Gary Rogers, and local art teacher, Mark Rivard, who uses skateboards as is canvas to teach his craft.

Rhoden Fellows: HBCU 468: 7/19/17

The Fellows say Boston's Jayson Tatum is the NBA rookie to watch, and they can't believe Kobe Bryant didn't make the Undefeated's 50 Greatest Athletes list, but Tim Duncan did.

Rhoden Fellows: HBCU 468: 7/14/17

This week on HBCU 468 The Fellows talk to Justin Tinsley about NBA free agency, and Jay Z's 4:44 album. They also spoke to 2012 Olympic silver medalist Brigetta Barrett.

All Day: 7/13/17

Clinton Yates talks to Trap Karaoke founder Jason Mowatt on the game LeBron James and Steph Curry love so much. And why Venus Williams in another the Wimbledon finals is huge.

All Day 7/7: 7/7/17

Clinton Yates talks to Rob King, ESPN's SVP of SportsCenter and news about his background in the journalism industry and the future of the business, then is joined by animation historian Amid Amidi to discuss the video for Jay-Z "The Story of O.J." off his new album 4:44. To cap things off, on the heels of the Ball family landing the SLAM Magazine cover, exactly why LaVar is an inspiration to many.

All Day with Clinton Yates: 6/30/17

Clinton Yates sits down with HBO Insecure writer and producer Amy Aniobi, and then takes a look at the WWE and the N-word.

Rhoden Fellows: HBCU 468: 6/29/17

The Fellows provide their insight into Phil Jackson's failure running the New York Knicks and the impact of Chris Paul going to the Houston Rockets.

Rhoden Fellows: HBCU 468: 6/23/17

The Fellows talk to Bob Ryan about his 50 years covering the NBA, and Newsday's Kimberly Martin discusses being the only Black female NFL beat writer in the country.

All Day: 6/22/17

Clinton Yates talks Draft in NYC, sits down with the co-creators of Jopwell, a startup helping students of color in the tech industry and ends up in Queens praising Prodigy.

Rhoden Fellows - HBCU 468: 6/16/17

In this week's edition the Fellows talk to Marcus Thompson II about covering the NBA champion Golden State Warriors and his book, "Golden: The Miraculous Rise of Steph Curry".

All Day: 6/15/17

Clinton Yates talks to ESPN anchor Adrienne Lawrence, who is also an attorney, about the latest from the Bachelorette in Paradise and with the creators of Little Apple Series.

Rhoden Fellows: HBCU 468: 6/8/17

This week the Rhoden Fellows discuss Black athletes and activism, LeBron's response to the racial epitaph on his property and Tiger Woods recent DUI.

All Day: 6/7/17

Clinton Yates talks to The Most Interesting Man In The World, Jonathan Goldsmith, chats Bachelorette with Tierra R. Wilkins and explains why the National Anthem matters.

Rhoden Fellows: HBCU 469: 6/2/17

Recognizing the one-year anniversary of Muhammad Ali's death, ESPN senior writer Tom Junod joined The Fellows and described in detail writing about Ali's last day and funeral.

All Day: 6/1/17

Clinton Yates talks to Marc Spears about LeBron James and Kevin Durant NBA Finals matchup. Tom Junod discusses his story on Muhammad Ali's passing and funeral preparations.

Rhoden Fellows - HBCU 468: 5/31/17

Mark Jackson breaks down the NBA Finals, claiming LeBron can pass Jordan as the best ever. The Fellows also talked to Tom Junod about his story on, The Greatest, Muhammad Ali.

Rhoden Fellows: HBCU 468: 5/25/17

The Fellows talk to Undefeated General Editor Kelley Evans about covering the Grizzlies for the Tri-State Defender in Memphis, and then discuss recent commencement speeches.

Rhoden Fellows - HBCU 468: 5/18/17

James Harden's play against the Spurs has the Fellows discussing his legacy. They also talk to black students at predominantly white colleges about their experience on campus.

Rhoden Fellows: HBCU 468: 5/11/17

Stephen A. Smith praised Isaiah Thomas's compelling effort in the playoffs, and explained Kevin Durant's impact on Golden State. He also talked about attending an HBCU.

The Rhoden Fellows - HBCU 468: 5/3/17

Before the Falcons signed Taylor Reynolds as a free agent out of James Madison, he expected to get drafted. Reynolds talks to about the process leading up to the NFL Draft.

The Rhoden Fellows - HBCU 468: 4/26/17

The Undefeated's Marc Spears joins the Fellows and dissects the NBA MVP race. Spears says it doesn't matter if James Harden or Russell Westbrook wins. They're both worthy.

What Are Those: 4/21/17

Aaron Dodson and Marcus Matthews discuss Nike's new Foamposite Metallic Copper release and Celtics PG Isaiah Thomas' sneaker tribute to his late sister.

All Day Podcast: 4/19/17

Domonique Foxworth joins Justin Tinsley and Clinton Yates to discuss Kendrick Lamar's new album, Carmelo Anthony's tumultuous offseason and Terrika Foster-Brasby talks to NFL prospect Jonathan Allen.

The Rhoden Fellows: HBCU 468: 4/19/17

The Rhoden Fellows HBCU 468 podcast follows six students at Historically Black Colleges who provide insight into sports and culture through their eyes and campuses. In the premiere episode, they discuss the Netflix movie Burning Sands.

Jackie Robinson Day special: 4/15/17

Clinton Yates and Aaron Dodson look at what Jackie Robinson meant to America and how his legacy continues in the face of declining numbers of black baseball players.

All Day Podcast: 4/11/17

Jill Hudson returns with Aaron Dodson, Justin Tinsley and Clinton Yates to talk about Tupac Shakur's Rock & Roll HOF induction and the NBA's logo politics. Plus, Terrika Foster-Brasby sits down with NFL draft prospect Myles Garrett.

All Day Podcast: 4/5/17

Rhiannon Walker, Justin Tinsley, Clinton Yates and Aaron Dodson discuss Pepsi's Kendall Jenner ad, Tiger Woods' 20th anniversary Masters victory and the Tar Heels' title win.

All Day- Vegas Raiders: 3/28/17

Clinton Yates, Aaron Dodson, Justin Tinsley and Rhiannon Walker weigh in on the Raiders' move to Las Vegas and if the move can draw a significant fan base.

All Day Podcast: 3/28/17

Rhiannon Walker joins Aaron Dodson, Justin Tinsley and Clinton Yates to discuss the NCAA Men's Final Four, the Oakland Raiders heading to Las Vegas and "You Played Yourself" returns.

All Day Podcast: 3/21/17

Danielle Cadet joins Aaron Dodson, Justin Tinsley and Clinton Yates to talk about Northwestern's NCAA run, Drake's new album and Dave Chappelle's Netflix comedy specials.

All Day: 3/14/17

Jill Hudson, Aaron Dodson, Martenzie Johnson and Clinton Yates talk about new video in the Michael Brown case and LaVar Ball's latest exploits.

What Are Those?!: 3/10/17

Aaron Dodson and Marcus Matthews discuss John Ross' NFL combine cleats, Paul George's signature shoe and the world of travel kicks.

All Day Podcast: 3/7/17

Jill Hudson, Justin Tinsley, Aaron Dodson discuss Shaq's 45th birthday, Terrika Foster-Brasby talks to rapper Rick Ross and we introduce a new segment called You Played Yourself.

Rick Ross Joins All Day: 3/6/17

Terrika Foster-Brasby chats with multi-platinum selling rap artist Rick Ross who talks about his new album "Rather You Than Me", his strong stance on entrepreneurship and his love for the Heat.

All Day Podcast: 2/28/17

Kelley Carter joins to talk about being at the 89th Academy Awards, while the squad discusses the Remy Ma vs. Nicki Minaj Beef and our favorite moments from Black History Month.

All Day: 2/23/17

Danielle Cadet, Martenzie Johnson and Morgan Moody join Aaron Dodson and Clinton Yates to talk about the NBA All-Star Game, Burger King buying Popeyes and Disney movies.

What Are Those: 2/15/17

On a special NBA All-Star Weekend edition, Aaron Dodson, Marcus Matthews and Justin Tinsley are joined by The Undefeated Editor-In-Chief Kevin Merida.

All Day Podcast: 2/14/17

Jill Hudson, Justin Tinsley, Aaron Dodson and Clinton Yates talk about the Grammys and the disastrous New York Knicks.

The Morning Roast: 2/12/17

Clinton, Domonique and Mina discuss James Dolan and other bad owners in sports. Mina discovers how dirty Domonique is and bachelor talk.

What Are Those?!: 2/10/17

Aaron Dodson and Marcus Matthews discuss Steph Curry's beef with Under Armour and Black History Month sneaker releases.

Football Season Is Over: 2/7/17

Danielle Cadet joins Aaron Dodson, Justin Tinsley and Clinton Yates to talk about teams visiting the White House and the 2017 Grammy Awards.

Boycotting HOF and Big Game Preview: 2/5/17

Clinton, Domonique and Mina get ready for Super Bowl LI and react to T.O. Not getting into the Hall of Fame. George Attalah of the NFLPA joins the show.

Super Bowl Week Rolls On: 2/1/17

Martenzie Johnson joins Jill Hudson, Aaron Dodson and Clinton Yates to talk SBLI, the SAG Awards and LeBron James' clapback on Charles Barkley.

Travel Restrictions Hurting Sports?: 1/29/17

With Clinton out sick, Mina and Domonique attempt to take the reins. How will travel restrictions affect sports. Plus, NBA and Bachelor talk.

Oscar Season Is Underway: 1/24/17

Jill Hudson, Justin Tinsley, Aaron Dodson and Clinton Yates discuss and TIDAL's new Sprint deal and The Undefeated's Kelley L. Carter joins to talk New Edition and the Academy Award nominations.

The Morning Roast: Antonio Brown's Dental Floss: 1/22/17

Clinton, Mina and Domonique get ready for the AFC and NFC Championship games. Plus and interesting story about Antonio Brown and dental floss.

Getting Ready For Inauguration: 1/17/17

Jill Hudson, Justin Tinsley, Aaron Dodson and Clinton Yates discuss Antonio Brown's locker room antics, Michelle Obama as a style icon and Steve Harvey's wild week.

Getting Over a Playoff Loss: 1/15/17

Clinton, Mina and Domonique react to the Seahawks loss and the Patriots win. Plus, one player who it is hard to root for even when he in on your team. Plus, Bachelor talk.

Ice Cube On Big 3 : 1/12/17

Rapper Ice Cube chats with Terrika Foster-Brasby about Big 3, a 3-On-3 professional basketball league for former NBA players.

Back For 2017: 1/12/17

Jill Hudson, Justin Tinsley, Aaron Dodson and Clinton Yates discuss President Obama's farewell speech, the Golden Globes and Terrika Foster-Brasby talks with Ice Cube.

The Morning Roast: 1/8/17

Clinton Yates, Mina Kimes & Domonique Foxworth debut their new show by breaking down the NFL MVP race and the new season of "The Bachelor."

Wrapping Up 2016: 12/21/16

The gang talks to The Washington Post's David Betancourt about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and Eric Dickerson discusses his legendary jheri curl.

The Undefeated: 12/13/16

Jill Hudson, Justin Tinsley, Aaron Dodson and Clinton Yates discuss Kanye West's trip to Trump Tower, eating chicken in public and Instagram's newest feature.

What Are Those: Space Jam's Back: 12/7/16

Aaron Dodson and Marcus Matthews talk about DJ Khaled's latest sneaker exploits and the new Space Jam Jordans.

Getting Into The Holiday Spirit: 12/6/16

Jill Hudson, Justin Tinsley, Martenzie Johnson and Clinton Yates talk about the death of Joe McKnight and the 2017 Grammy Award nominations.

Turkey Day: 11/22/16

Domonique Foxworth joins Jill Hudson, Aaron Dodson and Clinton Yates to talk Thanksgiving traditions and Kanye West's hospitalization

What Are Those?!: Shoes and Socks: 11/17/16

Jill Hudson joins Aaron Dodson and Marcus Matthews to talk about Nike's Jordan brand, plus an interview with Stance's Tzvi Twersky.

The Week After: 11/15/16

Danielle Cadet, Aaron Dodson, Justin Tinsley and Clinton Yates discuss Dave Chappelle's appearance on 'SNL,' the loss of Gwen Ifill and Greg Oden's status as the biggest NBA Draft bust ever.

Election Day: 11/8/16

Jill Hudson, Justin Tinsley, Aaron Dodson and Clinton Yates discuss their closest encounters with President Obama, when Magic Johnson announced he contracted HIV and the latest in viral animal videos.

Home Sweet Home: 11/1/16

Clinton Yates, Jill Hudson, Justin Tinsley and Aaron Dodson talk about the death of Vine, the Cavaliers' on-court drama and Terrika Foster-Brasby sits down with actor Omar Epps.

What Are Those: 10/27/16

On the inaugural episode, Aaron Dodson and Justin Tinsley discuss their first pair of Jordans, Steph Curry's new Under Armour campaign, James Harden's signature Adidas shoe and Kayne West getting in to the cleats game.

Chicago Is Ready: 10/25/16

All Day's Clinton Yates talks with ESPN 1000's Jonathan Hood about the Cubs and the Indians playing in the World Series.

Town Hall with Pres. Barack Obama: 10/11/16

The Undefeated hosted a town hall forum with President Barack Obama on sports, race and achievement at North Carolina A&T. The president answered student questions and more.

POTUS Comes To Greensboro: 10/11/16

Jill Hudson, Domonique Foxworth and Clinton Yates discuss locker room culture and Tiger Woods' comeback attempt. Plus, Justin Tinsley checks in from NC for POTUS' conversation with The Undefeated.

Back From Break: 10/4/16

Jill Hudson, Justin Tinsley and Clinton Yates discuss Luke Cage, Kim Kardashian's scary robbery and talk with colleague Michael Fletcher about Loretta Lynch working with the Dallas Cowboys.

America's Black History Museum : 9/20/16

Jill Hudson, Justin Tinsley and Clinton Yates talk about the NMAAHC and the 86th Emmy Awards. Plus, Mike Wise discusses his story about Joe Paterno.

Fall Is Underway: 9/13/16

Domonique Foxworth, Jill Hudson and Clinton Yates talk about national protests, fall television shows and the NBA Hall of Fame ceremony.

Summer's Over: 9/6/16

Jill Hudson, Justin Tinsley and Clinton Yates talk about football being back, South by South Lawn and Miss Karin makes her return.

America The Beautiful?: 8/30/16

Jill Hudson, Justin Tinsley and Clinton Yates discuss their recent trip to Chicago's South Side, Colin Kaepernick's comments and the VMAs.

Image Over Medals?: 8/16/16

Jill Hudson, Justin Tinsley and Clinton Yates discuss black hair at the Olympics, Larry Wilmore's show cancellation and Nate Parker's past and future.

NABJ Comes To Town : 8/9/16

Clinton Yates, Jill Hudson and Justin Tinsley discuss the annual NABJ convention, swimming in the black community and the debut of "Missed Connections with Miss Karin."

Idle Hands: 8/2/16

Justin Tinsley returns from on assignment to discuss Draymond Green's incident, Malia Obama and the legacy of MTV with Jill Hudson and Clinton Yates.

Jordan Speaks Out: 7/26/16

Domonique Foxworth joins Jill Hudson and Clinton Yates to talk about Michael Jordan speaking out and the new dating app Smoochr. Plus, Justin Tinsley joins from the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

The Road to Rio: 7/19/16

Domonique Foxworth joins Jill Hudson and Clinton Yates to talk Olympic basketball, Kim Kardashian-Taylor Swift drama and HBO's "Ballers."

Drama In The Bayou: 7/6/16

Clinton Yates, Jill Hudson and Justin Tinsley discuss the situation in Baton Rouge, The Body Issue of ESPN the Magazine and Kevin Durant's move to Golden State.

All Day: 6/29/16

Clinton Yates, Jill Hudson and Justin Tinsley chop it up about the BET Awards, Spike Lee's "$15 Kicks" Lil Joint, and soccer in black America.

NBA Finals Recap : 6/21/16

The Undefeated's Clinton Yates is joined by Justin Tinsley and Jill Hudson to recap the NBA Finals and discuss the appropriation of hip-hop and upcoming films of the summer.

All Day: 6/15/16

Clinton, Jill and Justin talk about the latest from the O.J. doc, style at the NBA Finals and homophobia in the black community.

OJ: Made in America: 6/11/16

Domonique Foxworth is joined by guests Jason Reid, Reina Kelley, Ezra Edleman, Sarah Spain and Carl Douglas and they take a look at OJ: Made in America.

Remembering Ali: Clinton Yates: 6/4/16

Clinton Yates joined Michael Wallace on ESPN Radio to share his thoughts on the passing of Muhammad Ali.

All Day: 5/26/16

The squad talks about Michael Wilbon's analytics story and the black community, reunion music tours, Baltimore, Bill Cosby and chopped it up with Annie Apple.

36 Hours In Beast Mode: 5/17/16

Undefeated writer Lonnae O'Neal takes you on a tour of Marshawn Lynch's Oakland. Be ready for some ping pong, Hennessy and "Town Bidness".

The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the U.S. tax code, since 1954, that prohibits all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. Section 501(c)(3) organizations are the most common type of nonprofit organization in the United States, ranging from charitable foundations to universities and churches. The amendment is named for then-Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas, who introduced it in a preliminary draft of the law in July 1954.

In the early 21st century, many politicians, including President Donald Trump, have sought to repeal the provision, arguing that it restricts the free speech rights of churches and other religious groups. These efforts have been criticized[by whom?] because churches have fewer reporting requirements than other non-profit organizations, and because it would effectively make political contributions tax-deductible. On May 4, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order "to defend the freedom of religion and speech" for the purpose of easing the Johnson Amendment's restrictions.[1][2]


Paragraph (3) of subsection (c) within section 501 of Title 26 (Internal Revenue Code) of the U.S. Code (U.S.C.) describes organizations which may be exempt from U.S. Federal income tax. 501(c)(3) is written as follows:

(3) Corporations, and any community chest, fund, or foundation, organized and operated exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, testing for public safety, literary, or educational purposes, or to foster national or international amateur sports competition (but only if no part of its activities involve the provision of athletic facilities or equipment), or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals, no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual, no substantial part of the activities of which is carrying on propaganda, or otherwise attempting, to influence legislation (except as otherwise provided in subsection (h)), and which does not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.[3]

The Johnson Amendment is the emboldened portion of this provision beginning with the words "and which does not participate in, or intervene in [ . . . ]."[4] The amendment affects nonprofit organizations with 501(c)(3) tax exemptions,[5] which are subject to absolute prohibitions on engaging in political activities and risk loss of tax-exempt status if violated.[6] Specifically, they are prohibited from conducting political campaign activities to intervene in elections to public office.[7][8] The Johnson Amendment applies to any 501(c)(3) organization, not just religious 501(c)(3) organizations.

The benefit of 501(c)(3) status is that, in addition to the organization itself being exempt from taxes, donors may also take a tax deduction for their contributions to the organization.

According to the Internal Revenue Service, contributions to political campaign funds, or public statements of position in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office, are disallowed. However, certain voter education activities as well as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, if conducted in a non-partisan manner, are not prohibited.[7]


The amendment was to a bill in the 83rd Congress, H.R. 8300, which was enacted into law as the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. The amendment was proposed by Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas on July 2, 1954. The amendment was agreed to without any discussion or debate and was included in Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (Aug. 16, 1954, ch. 736).[9] The provision was considered uncontroversial at the time, and continued to be included when the 1954 Code was renamed as the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 during the Ronald Reagan administration.[10]

Repeal efforts[edit]

In the 2010s, the Alliance Defending Freedom made attempts to challenge the Johnson Amendment through the Pulpit Freedom Initiative, which urges Protestant ministers to violate the statute in protest. The ADF contends that the amendment violates First Amendment rights.[11]

During his 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump called for the repeal of the amendment.[12] On February 2, 2017, President Trump vowed at the National Prayer Breakfast to "totally destroy" the Johnson Amendment,[13] White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced to the press that the President "committed to get rid of the Johnson Amendment", "allowing our representatives of faith to speak freely and without retribution",[14] and Republican lawmakers introduced legislation that would allow all 501(c)(3) organizations to support political candidates, as long as any associated spending was minimal.[15][16]

On May 4, 2017, Trump signed the "Presidential Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty."[17] The executive order does not (nor can it[18]) repeal the Johnson Amendment, nor does it allow preachers to endorse from the pulpit, but it does direct the Department of Treasury that "churches should not be found guilty of implied endorsements where secular organizations would not be." Douglas Laycock, speaking to The Washington Post, indicated that he was not aware of any cases where such implied endorsements have caused problems in the past.[19]Walter B. Jones Jr. has been the principal congressional advocate for repealing the speech restriction altogether and has support from the Family Research Council in modifying religious speech language in the Kevin Brady sponsored tax re-write legislation styled, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.[20]

The final version of the major tax rewrite legislation passed in December 2017 does not include the House repeal of the Johnson Amendment because the Senate parliamentarian ruled that it violated the Byrd Rule for reconciliation legislation.[21][22][23]

Criticism of repeal efforts[edit]

Efforts to repeal the Johnson Amendment have been criticized for a number of reasons. One concern is that political campaign contributions funneled through 501(c)(3) organizations would be tax-deductible for donors, and that such contributions would not be disclosed, since churches are exempt from reporting requirements required of other 501(c)(3) organizations. Under this critique, repeal would have the potential of creating a mechanism where political contributions could be made without regard to other campaign financing laws.[24][25][26] Other concerns include the potential damage to public trust in nonprofit and religious organizations if they were to begin endorsing candidates. Polls have shown that majorities of both the general public and of clergy oppose churches endorsing political candidates[27][28] The National Council of Nonprofits, a network of more than 25,000 nonprofit organizations, released a statement opposing the proposed repeal legislation.[29]Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations has also stated their opposition to the proposal to repeal the Johnson Amendment.[30] Numerous efforts to preserve the protections of the Johnson Amendment include a letter in support of nonprofit nonpartisanship signed by more than 5,500 organizations,[31] a Faith Voices letter signed by more than 4,300 religious leaders,[32] a letter that more than 100 denominations and major religious organizations signed,[33] and a letter from the National Association of State Charities Officials[34]

There has also been concerns from pastors and Christians about the potential that a total repeal would cause churches to transform into partisan super PACs.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^Wagner, John; Pulliam Bailey, Sarah. "Trump signs order aimed at allowing churches to engage in more political activity". The Washington Post. Retrieved 4 May 2017. 
  2. ^"President Donald J. Trump signs the Executive Order on Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty and participates in the National Day of Prayer event in the Rose Garden". The White House/Facebook. 43:29
  3. ^See paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of 26 U.S.C. § 501 (bolding added).
  4. ^The parenthetical phrase "(or in opposition to)" was not part of the original text of the Johnson amendment as enacted in the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, but was added by Congress as a clarification, in 1987. See section 10711(a)(2) of the Revenue Act of 1987, Title X of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, Pub. L. No. 100-203, 101 Stat. 1330, 1330-464 (Dec. 22, 1987).
  5. ^Stanley, Erik; Lynn, Barry W. (September 25, 2008). "Tax laws and religious speech: what the Constitution says". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 14, 2010. 
  6. ^Elacqua, Amelia (2008). "Eyes wide shut: The ambiguous 'political activity' prohibition and its effects on 501(c)(3) organizations". Houston Business and Tax Journal. pp. 119 and 141.
  7. ^ ab"The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations". Internal Revenue Service. 2012-08-14. Archived from the original on 2 December 2010. Retrieved 2012-09-09. 
  8. ^Dorf, Michael C. (6 Oct 2008). "Why the Constitution Neither Protects Nor Forbids Tax Subsidies for Politicking from the Pulpit, And Why Both Liberals and Conservatives May be on the Wrong Side of this Issue". Findlaw. 
  9. ^Congressional Record-Senate, July 2, 1954, p. 9604
  10. ^Peters, Jeremy W. (February 2, 2017). "The Johnson Amendment, Which Trump Vows to 'Destroy,' Explained". The New York Times. 
  11. ^Berlinerblau, Jacques (2011-10-05). "Where does church end and state begin? – Georgetown/On Faith". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-12-26. 
  12. ^Smith, Samuel (September 29, 2016). "New Bill Would Repeal Johnson Amendment, Protect Pastors Rights to Endorse Candidates, Political Positions". The Christian Post. Retrieved October 29, 2016.  
  13. ^Phillip, Abby (February 2, 2017). "Trump asks for prayers for Arnold Schwarzenegger's ratings at National Prayer Breakfast". The Washington Post. 
  14. ^"2/2/17: White House Press Briefing". The White House/YouTube. February 2, 2017. 
  15. ^Marcos, Cristina (2017-02-02). "GOP unveils bill to allow political activity by churches". The Hill. Retrieved 2017-02-03. 
  16. ^"H.R. 781 – 115th Congress". Library of Congress, Retrieved 2017-02-02. 
  17. ^"Presidential Executive Order Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty". The White House. 4 May 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2017. 
  18. ^Lopez, German (9 February 2017). "Trump's "law and order" executive orders, explained". Vox. Retrieved 5 May 2017. 
  19. ^Pulliam Bailey, Sarah (5 May 2017). "Many religious freedom advocates are actually disappointed with Trump's executive order". The Washington Post. 
  20. ^Douglas, William. (2 November 2017). "GOP plan to ease law on political speech from the pulpit gets lukewarm reception". McClatchy DC website Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  21. ^Long, Heather. (15 December 2017). "WonkBlog-Analysis: The final GOP tax bill is complete. Here’s what is in it." Washington Post website Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  22. ^McCambridge, Ruth. (15 December 2017). "Dep’t. of Small Mercies: Johnson Amendment Repeal Gone from Still-Terrible GOP Tax Bill ". Nonprofit Quarterly website Retrieved 17 December 2017.
  23. ^Shellnutt, Kate (15 December 2017). "Johnson Amendment Repeal Removed from Final GOP Tax Bill". Christianity Today. Retrieved 2 January 2018. 
  24. ^Tesfaye, Sophia (2017-02-03). "Trump's plan to "totally destroy" the Johnson Amendment creates a huge campaign finance loophole for churches to exploit". Salon. Retrieved 2017-02-04. 
  25. ^Jackson, Elizabeth (2016-10-06). "What Would Repealing the Johnson Amendment Mean?". Church Law & Tax. Retrieved 2017-02-04. 
  26. ^Green, Emma (2016-08-02). "Trump Wants to Make Churches the New Super PACs". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-02-04. 
  27. ^"Pastors Shouldn't Endorse Politicians – National Association of Evangelicals". National Association of Evangelicals. 2017-03-29. Retrieved 2018-02-26. 
  28. ^Lewis, Andrew R. (2017-02-03). "Most People — And Perhaps Most Clergy — Don't Want Political Endorsements In Church". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved 2017-02-04. 
  29. ^"Last-Minute Change to Tax Reform Bill Hardens Nonprofit Opposition". National Council of Nonprofits. 2017-11-09. Retrieved 2017-11-10. 
  30. ^"Statement on Johnson Amendment and Political Activity by Charities". Independent Sector. 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-02-04. 
  31. ^"Community Letter in Support of Nonpartisanship"(PDF). Give Voice. 
  32. ^"Keep Our Houses Of Worship Independent & Nonpartisan – Sign The Letter Today!". Faith Voices. Retrieved 2018-02-26. 
  33. ^"Letter from Faith Groups"(PDF). 
  34. ^"NASCO Letter to Congressional Leaders re: Johnson Amendment"(PDF). 

Further reading[edit]

  • Caron, Wilfred R.; Dessingue, Deirdre (1985). "I.R.C. §501(c)(3): Practical and Constitutional Implications of Political Activity Restrictions". Journal of Law & Politics. 2 (1): 169–200. 
  • Davidson, James D. (1998). "Why Churches Cannot Endorse or Oppose Political Candidates". Review of Religious Research. 40 (1): 16–34. JSTOR 3512457. 
Lyndon B. Johnson during his tenure as Senator from Texas and before becoming Vice President