US Supreme Court arguments Monday on whether govt officials can coerce nonprofits to disclose donors
Related Case: Thomas More Law Center v. Bonta
WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys
WHAT: Available for media interviews after oral arguments in Thomas More Law Center v. Rodriquez
WHEN: Monday, April 26, immediately following oral arguments, which begin at 10 a.m. ET
WHERE: Audio of oral arguments will stream live online; to schedule an interview, contact ADF Media Relations Media Relations Manager AnnMarie Pariseau at (480) 417-3975 or submit a request online
WASHINGTON – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will be available for media interviews Monday following oral arguments at the U.S. Supreme Court concerning whether Americans remain free to support nonprofit organizations and their causes without fear of harassment or threats. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent a Michigan-based nonprofit in the case, Thomas More Law Center v. Rodriquez.
The high court agreed to hear the case after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit ruled that Thomas More Law Center—and all other nonprofits who solicit donations in California—must annually disclose the names and addresses of major donors to the California attorney general. A trial showed that the attorney general’s office had no compelling need for that confidential information and leaked it like a sieve. By storing confidential donor information on the internet, the office created a perfect target for hackers, where the data could be easily discovered. The case has been consolidated with Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Rodriquez.
“Every American should be free to support causes they believe in without fear of harassment or intimidation,” said ADF Senior Counsel and Vice President of Appellate Advocacy John Bursch. “Mandatory disclosure of sensitive information is especially dangerous for donors, employees, and clients of nonprofits like Thomas More Law Center, who have faced intimidation, death threats, hate mail, boycotts, and even assassination plots from people who don’t agree with them. Given that the California Attorney General’s Office hardly ever uses supporter information for any purpose, it’s no wonder numerous groups across the ideological spectrum agree that forced disclosure is a threat to everyone and discourages charitable giving.”
Thomas More Law Center, a nonprofit organization based in Michigan, defends and promotes religious freedom, moral and family values, and the sanctity of human life. Roughly 5% of its donors are California residents, and it has operated as a charity in good standing with California’s attorney general for many years. Beginning in March 2012, the Attorney General’s Office began to harass the law center, demanding names and addresses of its major donors.
In the 9th Circuit, Thomas More Law Center’s case was consolidated with a similar lawsuit filed by Americans for Prosperity Foundation that the U.S. Supreme Court has also agreed to hear. Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP attorney Louie Castoria, who won the case at trial in the district court, is serving as co-counsel in the case for Thomas More Law Center.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.
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