First Amendment / Donor Privacy

Date Filed

March 1, 2021



U.S. Supreme Court

Kansas Justice Institute joined with over 30 other public policy organizations in signing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the combined cases of Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Becerra and Thomas More Society v. Becerra. The brief asks the Supreme Court to recognize the bedrock First Amendment and privacy rights of Americans and the charities they choose to support. Nothing less than our First Amendment rights are at stake.


The case stems from a 2010 action by then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris in which charities would no longer be able to fundraise within California unless they turned over donor information to state officials. The case changed names as Kamala Harris left the California Attorney General’s Office and continues under the name of her successor, Xavier Becerra.


KJI’s litigator —Sam MacRoberts — said,

There is no good reason why the government should be able to keep lists of people’s names, address, and the charities they support. The First Amendment protects against forced disclosure of private information without a compelling need. All non-profit groups should be alarmed by what happened. We stand strong to push back when the government oversteps their bounds.

As the U.S. Supreme Court wrote in NAACP v. Alabama in a similar attempt at mandated donor disclosure, “it is hardly a novel perception that compelled disclosure of affiliation with groups engaged in advocacy may constitute as effective a restraint on freedom of association[.]”