I've complained before about the IRS' privileging of churches and religious organizations. My complaints were generally more about churches being totally tax-exempt despite their politicking, which has gotten bolder and bolder in its forays over the border between "non-specific beliefs that have political ramifications" and "telling people how to vote or who to vote for" - and the IRS has done nothing about it.
These two lawsuits, however, take up against different religion-specific tax rules, ones I hadn't even known existed. Apparently, churches and affiliated organizations which have 501(c)(3) status or want to acquire such don't have to pay application fees, which secular non-profits do - and these are not $20 copay type fees; apparently, they can run up to $850. Which isn't *that* much to most big orgs, but a lot of starting-out non-profits don't have a generous budget, and so this takes a big bite out of what they can do as they're getting set up. Additionally, churches and religious organizations aren't required to submit yearly financial information filings, which secular non-profits do. When the IRS itself estimates a total of 211 work-hours to complete the relevant filing? That's not a small inconvenience. The informational filings are public information, and must include the names of any donors who give over $5,000. People who want to donate fuckbuckets of money to churches to carry out their (frequently political) work can do so in anonymity, but if you want to donate to a secular non-profit, your contribution goes on public record.
I don't know enough about the relevant laws and precedents to speculate on these cases. But I think it'll be interesting to see how they play out, and if it might help lay groundwork for further challenges to churches as tax-exempt demi-political organizations (for those who choose to behave that way).