Today we filed our fourth amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of 22 organizations and fundraisers opposing a California requirement that nonprofits surrender the names of their large donors before soliciting contributions in that state. Now, we are urging the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision of the Ninth Circuit.This is the sixth brief we filed defending the right of nonprofits to withhold IRS Form 990 Schedules B, protecting the anonymity of their donors. In our brief, we address four issues —why such disclosure demands are unconstitutional for four reasons: freedom of association under NAACP v. Alabama ex rel. Alabama; blanket restrictions of charitable solicitation under Madigan v. Telemarketing Associates; breach of anonymity under Watchtower v. Village of Stratton and Talley v. California; and lastly, because in addition to retaliation by the public, government officials could retaliate against those donors funding nonprofits working to oppose government policies.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On behalf of Free Speech Coalition, we filed Reply Comments in Postal Regulatory Commission Docket No. PI2008 4 opposing broadening the cooperative mail rule to impose significant burdens on new and smaller nonprofit organizations.
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.”
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.
Our firm filed an amicus brief for the Free Speech Defense and Education Fund, et al. in the case of American Target Advertising, Inc.v. Francine A. Giani in the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in support of appellant.