Wednesday, July 29, 2015

NY May Require Charities To File Information on Major Donors

In Citizens United v. Schneiderman, (SD NY, July 27, 2015), a New York federal district court held that the New York Attorney General can constitutionally require registered charities to file a copy of their federal Form 990, Schedule B disclosing the names, addresses, and contributions of their major donors in order to solicit funds in the state. According to the court:
On this record, the Court is satisfied that the Schedule B policy bears a substantial relation to the important governmental interests of enforcing charitable solicitation laws and protecting New York residents from illegitimate charities.... In light of the important governmental interests that the Schedule B policy serves, the Court cannot find on this record that it places unjustified burdens on charities' rights of speech and association.
The court also rejected prior restraint and due process arguments. Reuters reports on the decision.  In May, the 9th Circuit reached a similar result. (See prior posting.)