Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer

Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer

Professor of Law

Office: 3155 Eck Hall of Law
Phone: 574-631-8057
Fax: 574-631-8078
Email: lmayer@nd.edu
Staff Assistant: Alicia Cummins
CV: View
SSRN: View

Lloyd Hitoshi Mayer joined the faculty as an associate professor of law in 2005 and became a full professor in 2011. He served as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2011 to 2015. He earned his A.B., with distinction and honors, from Stanford University in 1989 and his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1994. While at Yale, he was a John M. Olin Fellow in Law and Economics and served as business editor of the Yale Law and Policy Review and as an editor of the Yale Journal on Regulation. Following graduation, he clerked for the Honorable Lowell A. Reed, Jr., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. He then joined Caplin & Drysdale in Washington, D.C., first as an associate and later as a member, where he concentrated on tax issues, particularly for nonprofit organizations. He teaches courses at Notre Dame Law School in not-for-profit organizations, business enterprise taxation, election law, and professional responsibility.

Mayer's areas of research interest and expertise include advocacy by nonprofit organizations, the intersection of election law and tax law with respect to lobbying and other political activity, federal and state regulation of nonprofits (including churches and other religious organizations), and the role of nonprofits both domestically and internationally. 

Courses Taught

LAW70121, Not-For-Profit Organizations

LAW70369, Election Law

LAW70609, Taxation of Business Enterprises

LAW70808, Professional Responsibility


Nonprofits, Taxes, and Speech, 56 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review (forthcoming 2023).

21st Century Churches and Federal Tax Law University of Illinois Law Review (co-authored with Ellen P. Aprill) (forthcoming)

Allocating State Authority Over Charitable Nonprofit Organizations, UCLA Law Review Discourse (forthcoming 2023)

Regulating Charitable Crowdfunding, 97 Indiana Law Journal 1375 (2022)

A Critical Problem Needing a Bolder Solution?: A Response to Atinuke O. Adediran's "Nonprofit Board Composition", 83 Ohio State Law Journal Online 74 (2022)

Public Benefit and Charitable Class, in Charity Law: Exploring the Concept of Public Benefit (Routledge 2022)

Searching for the Optimal Legal Limits on Charity Entrepreneurship, in The Cambridge Handbook of Law and Entrepreneurship in the United States (Cambridge University Press 2022)

Tax Exemption Is Not a Subsidy - Except for When It Is (with Ellen P. Aprill), 172 Tax Notes Federal 1887 (Sept. 20, 2021)

What Is Caesar's, What Is God's: Fundamental Public Policy for Churches, (with Zachary B. Pohlman), 44 Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy 145 (2021)

The Promises and Perils of Using Big Data to Regulate Nonprofits, 94 Washington Law Review 1281 (2019)

Fiduciary Principles in Charities and Other Nonprofits, in The Oxford Handbook of Fiduciary Law (Oxford University Press 2019)

When Soft Law Meets Hard Politics: Taming the Wild West of Nonprofit Political Involvement, 45 Journal of Legislation 194 (2019)

Creating a Tax Space for Social Enterprise, in The Cambridge Handbook of Social Enterprise Law (Cambridge University Press 2018). 

A (Partial) Defense of Section 501(c)(4)'s "Catchall" Nature, 21 NYU Journal of Legislation & Public Policy 439 (2018). 

Globalization Without a Safety Net: The Challenge of Protecting Cross-Border Funding of NGOs, 102 Minnesota Law Review 1205 (2018). 

Fragmented Oversight of Nonprofits in the United States: Does It Work? 91 Chicago-Kent Law Review 937 (2016). 

'The Better Part of Valour Is Discretion': Should the IRS Change or Surrender Its Oversight of Tax-Exempt Organizations? 7 Columbia Journal of Tax Law 80 (2016).

Nonprofits, Speech, and Unconstitutional Conditions, 46 Conn. L. Rev. 1045 (2014). 

Politics and the Public’s Right to Know, 13 Election Law Journal 138 (2014).

Taxing Social Enterprise (co-authored with Joseph R. Ganahl), 66 Stanford Law Review 387 (2014). 

Limits On State Regulation Of Religious Organizations: Where We Are And Where We Are Going, Columbia University Academic Commons (2013).

Nonprofits, Politics, and Privacy, 62 Case Western Res. L. Rev. 801 (2012).

The "Independent" Sector: Fee-for-Service Charity and the Limits of Autonomy, 65 VANDERBILT L. REV. 51-122 (2012).

NGO Standing and Influence in International Human Rights Courts, 36 BROOKLYN J. INT'L L. 911 (2011).

Charities and Lobbying: Institutional Rights in the Wake of Citizens United, 10 ELECTION L.J. 407-426 (2011).

Disclosures about Disclosure, 45 INDIANA L. REV. 255 (2010).

Regulating Philanthropy in the 21st Century, (with Brendan M. Wilson), 85 CHICAGO-KENT L. REV. 479 (2010).

Breaching a Leaking Dam?: Corporate Money and Elections, 4 CHARLESTON L. REV. 91 (2009) (Supreme Court Preview issue).

Politics at the Pulpit: Tax Benefits, Substantial Burdens, and Institutional Free Exercise, 89 BOSTON UNIV. L. REV. 1137 (2009).


Serving on a Nonprofit Board: Legal and Ethical Duties in an Age of Accountability, as an appendix in JOHN TROPMAN & THOMAS J. HARVEY, NONPROFIT GOVERNANCE: THE WHY, WHAT, AND HOW OF NONPROFIT BOARDSHIP (Corby Books & University of Scranton Press, 2009)

What Is This "Lobbying" That We are So Worried About?, 26 YALE L. & POL'Y REV. 485 (2008).

Grasping Smoke: Enforcing the Prohibition on Campaign Intervention by Charities, 6 FIRST AMEND. L. REV. 1 (2007).

The Much Maligned 527 and Institutional Choice, 87 BOSTON UNIV. L. REV. 625 (2007).

The Legal Rules for Policy and Civic Impact by Foundations, in POWER IN POLICY: A FUNDER'S GUIDE TO ADVOCACY AND CIVIC PARTICIPATION (David F. Arons ed., 2007): 169-205.

Tax Issues for Private Foundations (with Douglas N. Varley), in COMPLETE GUIDE TO NONPROFIT ORGANIZATIONS (Penina Kessler Leiber and Donald R. Levy eds., 2005): 2-1 to 2-106

Political Activities of Tax-Exempt Organizations: Useful Guidance In Revenue Ruling 2004-6. 100 JOURNAL OF TAXATION 181 (2004).

Areas of Expertise

  • Churches & Politics
  • Election Law
  • Federal Income Taxation
  • Institutional Choice Theory
  • Non-profit Organizations
  • Taxation
  • Tax Law & Policy

In the News

Trump loyalist Kash Patel's tax-exempt charity raises questions, experts say, ABC News, March 8, 2023

Trump's Dark Money Machine Just Got Darker, The Daily Beast, Jan. 19, 2023

Trump Giving "Political Speech" to Judicial Watch, Which is Not Supposed To Do Politics, Yahoo! News, Jan. 19, 2023

Fact check: Respect for Marriage Act explicitly protects religious tax-exempt status, USA Today, Dec. 6, 2022.

These 20 churches supported political candidates. Experts say they violated federal law. Texas Tribune and ProPublica, Nov. 7, 2022.

Churches are breaking the law and endorsing in elections, experts say. The IRS looks the other way. Texas Tribune and ProPublica, Oct. 30, 2022.

Experts say a Trump-backed charity is pushing the boundaries of tax law, NPR, Aug. 31, 2022.

Ken Griffin Spent $54 Million Fighting a Tax Increase for the Rich. Secret IRS Data Shows It Paid Off for Him. ProPublica, July 7, 2022.

How a Secretive Billionaire Handed His Fortune to the Architect of the Right-Wing Takeover of the Courts, ProPublica, August 22, 2022

Taxing Churches, Tax Chats with Dyreng and Hoopes (podcast), June 22, 2022

What would it take for the NRA to lose its tax-exempt status?, Marketplace, June 9, 2022

She Helped Create the Big Lie. Records Suggest She Turned It Into a Big Grift., Reveal News, June 8, 2022

Black Lives Matter mansion is symbol of waste and corruption, say critics, The Times, May 20, 2022

Black Lives Matter's National Organization Opens Its Books. What Do They Reveal?, New York Magazine, May 20, 2022

After Raising $90 Million in 2020, Black Lives Matter Has $42 Million in Assets, N.Y. Times, May 17, 2022

'Great sign' or 'very unfortunate'? Black Lives Matter supporters split over $6M purchase, NBC News, April 26, 2022

Double-Whammy for Comic-Con: $8M Loss and Threat to State Tax Exemption, Times of San Diego, April 8, 2022

Black Lives Matter Secretly Bought a $6 Million House, New York Magazine, April 4, 2022

Minnesota Woman to Repay $120,000 Raised in Philando Castile's Name, N.Y. Times, March 30, 2022

Sending 'a message of support': How Airbnb bookings are helping Ukrainians, USA Today, March 4, 2022

A Texas State bone marrow registry program became a national model. Now, its leader is under investigation for diverting money to support an affair, Texas Tribune, February 2, 2022

Florida opens investigation into dark-money group key to "ghost" candidate scandal, Tampa Bay Times, January 20, 2022

Guess Who's Secretly Backing This "Anti-Smoking" Vape Group, Daily Beast, January 9, 2022

Convenient but susceptible to fraud: Why it makes sense to regulate charitable crowdfunding, The Conversation, December 17, 2021

Trump's Dark-Money Machine Gets a Makeover-and New Owners, The Daily Beast, December 12, 2021

Moms for Liberty: Despite nonpartisan claims, army of activists a political force in 2022, TP Palm, December 8, 2021

Wall Street Legend Perelman's Family Trust Tied to Mystery Loans, Bloomberg Wealth, November 3, 2021

This Breast Cancer Charity Is the Big New 'Scam' in Politics, The Daily Beast, October 15, 2021

Texas has raised $54 million in private donations for its border wall plan, The Texas Tribune, October 6, 2021

Justices Open the Door Wider for Donor Info Law Challenges (Expert Analysis), Law360, July 2, 2021

New York, Other State Donor Rules Imperiled by High Court Ruling, Bloomberg Tax, July 2, 2021

The Supreme Court Throws Out a State Law Requiring Nonprofits to Name Rich Donors, NPR, July 1, 2021

Mayo Clinic Win Could Invite More Tax Exemption Claims, Law360, June 8, 2021

Obamacare, LGBTW rights, voting laws in play during Supreme Court's final month, CNN, June 1, 2021

Cash-Strapped Loretto Hospital Paid Millions to Companies Formed by Ousted Executive's Pal, Better Government Association, April 28, 2021

Supreme Court poised for another historic spring, CNN, April 25, 2021

Supreme Court to Weigh in on State Charity Oversight (podcast), Bloomberg Law, April 23, 2021.

Survey:Nearly 1 in 3 contribute to a crowdfunding drive, Associated Press and The Chronicle of Philanthropy, April 13, 202

Mission of IRS' Tax-Exempt Unit Could Hinder Push For Funds, Law360, April 7, 2021

Donor-Advised Funds May Fortify Policies Despite Fidelity Win, Law360, April 1, 2021

IRS Exempt Division LIkely To Take Back Seat in NRA Probes, Law360, October 23, 2020 (subscription required)

A Philanthropist's Plan to Get the Wealthy to Give More Faces Headwinds, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, October 8, 2020

Wyoming's 'dark money" coal campaign, WyoFile, October 2, 2020

IRS Past Exempt Org Scandal, Outgoing Official Says, Law360, September 30, 2020

'I've never seen anything like this': Kansas Senate candidate under fire for mixing religion, politics, The Topeka Capital-Journal, September 25, 2020

Final College Endowment Excise Tax Regs Draw Guarded Praise, Tax Notes, September 21, 2020 (subscription required)

Why Steve Bannon faces fraud charges: 4 questions answered, The Conversation, August 21, 2020

Skeptics Dismiss Trump's Threat to Revoke School's Exempt Status, Tax Notes Today Federal, July 13, 2020 (subscription required)

TAX VIRUS BRIEFING: Virus Struggles Continue as Senate Returns,  Bloomberg Law Daily Tax Report, May 1, 2020

Loss Carrybacks Can Help Nonprofits but IRS Direction is Limited, Bloomberg Law Daily Tax Report, April 27, 2020

Here's How Tom Steyer's Lavish Spending Divided South Carolina Democrats, N.Y. Times, Feb. 28, 2020