NFIB Files Amicus Brief Defending Right to Anonymously Donate to Nonprofits

Date: March 01, 2021

AFP v. Becerra questions if California can legally demand donor information from nonprofits

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 1, 2021) – NFIB filed an amicus brief in the case Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra at the United States Supreme Court. The case is being consolidated with Thomas More Law Center v. Becerra. NFIB supports the petitioners and believes compelled blanket disclosure of a nonprofit organization’s donors violates the First Amendment.

“Small business owners, like many Americans, make decisions to support nonprofits that align with their morals and beliefs,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “If states can legally demand blanket donor information without any relevant law-enforcement-related necessity for the information, harmful consequences are sure to follow. As our brief demonstrates, time and time again private information disclosed to government authorities ends up in the wrong hands, which can lead to harassment and economic or physical retribution by those with opposing views – including ‘doxing’ and ‘canceling.’ This case will set a dangerous precedent if the lower court’s decision is upheld and will inevitably threaten core speech and association protected by the First Amendment.”

The case primarily concerns whether the state of California can demand nonprofit organizations that solicit funds in the state to disclose the names and addresses of all donors who give $5,000 or more in a year. The Ninth Circuit court ruled that California’s requirement did not infringe the donors’ right to associate freely under the First Amendment. NFIB urges the Supreme Court to reverse the Ninth Circuit’s decision.

NFIB filed the brief with the Hispanic Leadership Fund and the National Association of Home Builders.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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