We have a chance to win the AFPF & Thomas More v Becerra case at the Supreme Court

Why do Americans vote with a secret ballot? Because voters can be intimidated.

In recent years, non-profit advocacy groups have been under political attack. You’ve heard a lot, lately, about social media suppression. But over a decade ago, two state Attorneys General wanted access to the Schedule B’s of non-profit advocacy groups.

Why?

Because Schedule B is the list of large donors and the amounts they gave to your favorite non-profit group! And those crucial supporters can be intimidated too.

The original AGs seeking those Schedule Bs were Eric Schneiderman of New York and Kamala Harris of California – both Democrats seeking to use government force to intimidate or suppress opposition to their view of the world.

Yes, the now-Vice President had an interest in scaring-off donors to groups she doesn’t like. And, despite a promise not to publish those names – a violation of federal law – the AG’s office leaked those names anyway.

Can state Attorneys General require charities to give them their donor lists?

The Supreme Court will consider this issue in a combined case involving two plaintiffs, AFPF & Thomas More v. Becerra. We need your help to file a brief in this case. Please understand…

We have filed six amicus briefs related to this issue over the years.

Those briefs helped bring this question to the Supreme Court, who will now decide it.

We deliver results! Please support this work.

The Court is likely to rely on one or both of these two approaches…

A.  They might rely on a balancing test (in which citizens’ rights are balanced against a supposedly compelling state interest – extra-constitutional tests created by courts over the years).
B.  They could apply original constitutional intent.

Frankly, we could and should win under either criterion.

What will our arguments be?

The plaintiffs seem to be covering the balancing tests arguments. We will go a different way. For example, we will very likely be the only party in this case to make this argument…

Citizens have an inalienable right to make and receive anonymous charitable contributions.

Our amicus brief will also aim at the following points…

  • Forced filings represent both prior restraint and a presumption of guilt – but contributions are not a criminal act and shouldn’t be treated as such.
  • A.G.s might use contributor lists to punish donors and charities they don’t like.
  • Publishing these disclosures will have a “chilling effect” – reducing the number of charities formed, as well as the number of donors and size of their donations.

Knowing us, we’ll probably criticize at least one of those extra-constitutional balancing tests.

Can you please help us fund the work to file this brief? It’s taken a lot of time to reach this point. Let’s not fumble the ball now that we’re at the goal line.

I Support the Brief

DownsizeDC.org is partnering with the Downsize DC Foundation (home of the Zero Aggression Project) so that your contributions can be tax-deductible. When you click that button, you’ll be taken to the Zero Aggression Project contribution form.

Thank you for making our work and success possible!

Jim Babka, President
Downsize DC Foundation

Today’s Action: Support the AFPF & Thomas More v. Becerra amicus brief