Key freedom of association case before U.S. Supreme Court

The U.S. Supreme is hearing an important First Amendment case this week on the California law requiring nonprofit groups to reveal the names and addresses of major donors. Conservative organizations claim the law puts an unconstitutional damper on freedom of association. The law, they say, “poses an imminent danger of hate mail, violence, ostracization and boycotts. Only the most stalwart supporters will give money under such a toxic cloud.” Those supporting the law argue that the First Amendment also fosters the public’s right to know certain information that allows them to evaluate different messages. (Freedom Forum, April 19, 202, by Tony Mauro)

The American Civil Liberties Union supports the view that revealing associations would chill First Amendment rights to the detriment of civil discourse. A nonprofit association contends that it is important state Attorneys General have access to donor lists to maintain public trust in nonprofits.(Cornell Law School, Legal Information Institute, April, 2021, by Ryan Schelwat and Zev T. Chabus)

For related FAC coverage, click here.

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