Sunday, January 10, 2021

Supreme Court Wil Hear Challenge To California Donor-Disclosure Requirement

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday granted certiorari in Thomas More Law Center v. Becerra (Docket No. 19-255, cert. granted 1/8/2021) and Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra (Docket No. 19-251, cert. grange 1/8/2021) (Order List), and consolidated the cases for oral argument.  At issue is a California administrative rule requiring non-profit organizations that wish to solicit tax deductible contributions in the state to file an annual report that includes an unredacted IRS Form 990 Schedule B. That Schedule contains the names and contributions of significant donors. Thomas More Law Center, which describes itself in its petition for certiorari as a non-profit organization that defends religious freedom, family values, and the sanctity of life, argues in its cert. petition:

For those associated with charities that speak on contentious matters—like Petitioner the Thomas More Law Center (the “Law Center”)—disclosing donor information to the Attorney General’s Registry poses an imminent danger of hate mail, violence, ostracization, and boycotts. Only the most stalwart supporters will give money under such a toxic cloud. Most will reasonably conclude that the risk of association is too great, with the result that groups who make the most threats will effectively shut down those with whom they disagree.

See prior related posting. SCOTUSblog case pages (1, 2) for the cases have links to all the pleadings and related materials.