Supreme Court Ends California Disclosure Rule

California non-profits are no longer required to disclose their donors. Californian law has a particular rule that requires all charitable and non-profit organizations to disclose the names of their...

California non-profits are no longer required to disclose their donors.

Californian law has a particular rule that requires all charitable and non-profit organizations to disclose the names of their contributors. This law was put in place to combat the increase of “dark money” politics, anonymous donations from politicians intended to garner favor without affecting their public optics. Unfortunately, as of today, that rule is no longer a rule.

The United States Supreme Court has invalidated the disclosure rule with a 6-3 ruling along party lines.

“The upshot is that California casts a dragnet for sensitive donor information from tens of thousands of charities each year, even though that information will become relevant in only a small number of cases involving filed complaints,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor fired back, saying that the ruling will allow a greater influx of anonymous, potentially fraudulent money to pass through charities. She added that the court “trades precision for blunt force” and creates a “significant risk that it will topple disclosure regimes that should be constitutional.”

The challenge was originally raised by the American for Prosperity Foundation and the Thomas More Law Center, conservative non-profit organizations that the state had failed to provide a compelling reason for the rule’s existence.

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