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The Buckeye Institute Calls on the U.S. Supreme Court to Protect the First Amendment Right of Association

Sep 25, 2019

Columbus, OH – On Wednesday, The Buckeye Institute filed an amicus brief in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra calling on the United States Supreme Court to recognize that people have the right to donate to charities and nonprofit organizations without having their own personal information turned over to the government.

“California’s attorney general claims this case is about ‘investigative efficiency’ in its oversight of charities and other nonprofit groups. In fact, it is an alarming violation of the First Amendment right of free association and would have a chilling effect on free speech,” said Robert Alt, president and chief executive officer of The Buckeye Institute. “The Buckeye Institute calls on the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the right to free association as it most notably did in the 1958 landmark case, NAACP v. Alabama.”

In 2010, California’s attorney general began requiring all charities and tax-exempt organizations that fundraise in California to turn over a list of the names and personal addresses of their significant donors even though an overwhelming majority of states do not require this information and can conduct their oversight activities of the charities just fine without it—as they have done for decades. Americans for Prosperity Foundation refused to comply with California’s demand for the list of donors and their personal information citing that the government’s request is a violation of the First Amendment right of free association.

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