Koch brothers win First Amendment victory over disclosure of donors to non-profit

California Attorney General Kamala Harris lost a federal district court ruling denying her bid for the identities of donors to a Koch brothers’ non-profit, Americans for Prosperity Foundation. The judge wrote,  the bid “chills the exercise of [the group]’s 1st Amendment freedoms to speak anonymously and to engage in expressive association.”  (Los Angeles Times, April 21, 2016, by John Meyers)

The judge said that California’s disclosure requirement was not “facially invalid” but violated the First Amendment in the case of the foundation. The state intends to appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. (Courthouse News Service, April 21, 2016, by Matt Reynolds)

The judge found Harris’ claim unconvincing that she needed the donor list in an investigation. He also said the lists could be published on a public website, an error the state has made over 1,800 times.  (Politico, April 21, 2016, by Josh Gerstein)