Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra

admin Constitutional Law, U. S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

Today we filed another amicus brief in support of Americans for Prosperity’s challenge to the California Attorney General’s demand for its confidential donor information as a condition of raising money in the state. This brief urged the Ninth Circuit to grant rehearing en banc to reverse an earlier panel decision. The brief was filed for Citizens United, Citizens United Foundation, Free Speech Coalition, and Free Speech Defense and Education Fund. Read More

Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Xavier Becerra

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

Today we filed a brief for the Free Speech Coalition and a large number of nonprofit orgainzations opposing efforts by the Attorney General of California to compel the disclosure by nonprofit organizations soliciting funds in that state of the names of their largest donors.

The issue in the case involves conditioning the ability to fundraise in California on disclosing confidential information to a politician — in this case, a state Attorney General.  Our brief explains why the First Amendment’s Anonymity principle applies, and why all such laws are unconstitutional licensing schemes.  We also explain why the federal tax scheme governing the filing of IRS Form 990 Schedule B’s protects the identity of donors, and that state officials can only obtain this information upon making a specific showing of illegal activity.  Therefore, this requirement, imposed by the Attorney General of California, is an unconstitutional prophylactic rule unrelated to any showing of fraud. Read More

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. Read More

FSC Letter to Congressman Fleming Supporting Impeachment of Koskinen

Michael Harless Nonprofit Law

Today, on behalf of the Free Speech Coalition, we sent a letter to Congressman John C. Fleming, M.D., expressing the Free Speech Coalition’s support for H.Res. 828, the House’s impeachment of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen.

In addition to supporting impeachment for his malfeasance in concealing the nefarious deeds of Lois Lerner, our letter explains his nonfeasance in failing to protect confidential taxpayer information in the form of Schedules B listing large donors to nonprofit organizations. Read More

Statement Presented on Charitable Solicitation to New York State Senate

Michael Harless Nonprofit Law

Today, Bill Olson presented a statement on behalf of the Free Speech Coalition to the Committee on Consumer Protection of the New York State Senate.  The Senate Committee had sought input on the “public disclosure of charities rates of donor retention and use, industry regulation and the adequacy of current laws pertaining to charitable telemarketing solicitation.”

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James E. Ryan, Attorney General of Illinois v. Telemarketing Associates, Inc, et al.

Michael Harless Nonprofit Law, U. S. Supreme Court

Our firm filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, Inc., Conservative Legal Defense and Education Fund, American Target Advertising, Inc., Eberle Communications Group, Inc., Gun Owners Foundation, English First, Lincoln Institute for Research and Education, and Citizens United Foundation in support of respondents Telemarketing Associates, Inc., et al. Read More