Breaking: Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case About Disclosure of Funders to Certain Nonprofit Organizations, With Implications That Could Lead Courts to Strike Some Campaign Finance Disclosure Laws

The Court’s order list is here.

Here’s an earlier explanation from the Philanthropy Roundtable:

For those following donor-privacy issues, there was an important development in the case known as Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra in mid-December. The current status of this litigation is that the plaintiffs have petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case for review, challenging the decision from the Ninth Circuit, which ruled against the plaintiffs. There have been 22 amicus briefs filed in support of AFP et al.’s petition for writs of certiorari, including one from The Philanthropy Roundtable. 

The question before the court? “Whether California’s requirement that charitable organizations that fundraise in the State disclose to the state Attorney General’s office the identities of their substantial contributors violates the constitutional freedom of association.” 

In considering this petition, the Court asked the Solicitor General what the federal government’s position is on this question. After a long wait, the Solicitor General has now issued that opinion in his own amicus brief. Bottom line: The Solicitor General supports granting the petition. 

Although this case involves only disclosure to government bodies for law enforcement purposes, it could start the newer, more conservative Supreme Court majority down the road of striking down more campaign finance disclosure laws.

The case is likely to be decided by early summer.

Stay tuned.

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