Citizens United v. Schneiderman

Michael Harless Constitutional Law, Nonprofit Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Today we filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit opposing efforts by the Attorney General of New York from implementing new procedures requiring every nonprofit organization which solicits funds in that state to provide him with the names, addresses, and donation amounts of the organization’s largest donors.  Although the Attorney General of New York insists that the information would be kept by him and not shared with the public, the First Amendment protects Americans from divulging their anonymous political activities to politicians — especially highly political politicians like state attorney generals — who know how to use their discretionary power to chill the political activities of wealthy individuals.

This is at least the sixth amicus brief in which we have sought to protect the identity of donors against the prying eyes of government officials, including:  Watchtower v. Village of Stratton (2001), Madigan (Ryan) v. Telemarketing Associates, Inc. (2003), AFPF v. Harris (2016), Independence Institute v. FEC (2016) and Independence Institute v. FEC (2017).

Link to brief