This case before the Supreme Court of the United States concerns the threat to the right to private anonymous association presented by the California Attorney General’s policy of requiring nonprofit organizations to publicly disclose donor’s identities and other information. FIRE joined the Cato Institute, the Firearms Policy Coalition, Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute, Reason Foundation, The Individual Rights Foundation, Mountain States Legal Foundation, The First Amendment Lawyers Association, and The DKT Liberty Project in filing an amici curiae brief in support of Petitioners Americans for Prosperity Foundation and Thomas More Law Center.
Amici argue that this compelled disclosure unconstitutionally jeopardizes donor’s rights to anonymous speech and association and opens them up to potential intimidation, retaliation, and harassment. The Supreme Court has long held that state actions infringing upon First Amendment freedoms, like associational privacy, must be narrowly tailored to their governmental interest. That is to say, whenever the government abridges those freedoms the means with which they choose to do so must be “specifically and narrowly framed to accomplish” their intended purpose. In this case, California plainly failed to meet that burden, rendering their restriction of freedom of speech and freedom of association unconstitutional on its face. Amici urge the Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision, reaffirm its precedent, and continue its protection of the vital First Amendment freedom to private anonymous association in California and the country.