Court: California Donor Disclosure Requirement Doesn't Violate First Amendment

A federal appeals court has ruled that a California law requiring nonprofit organizations to provide the state with an annual list of donors and donations does not violate the First Amendment. The Ninth Circuit concluded that the law does not significantly burden the free speech of nonprofits "because the information is collected solely for nonpublic use, and the risk of inadvertent public disclosure is slight." EPIC filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing that the reporting requirement "infringes on several First Amendment interests, including the free exercise of religion, the freedom to express views without attribution, and the freedom to join in association with others without government monitoring." EPIC also explained that California had "failed to implement basic data protection standards" for donor information. EPIC has argued for donor privacy and similar constitutional privacy rights in Packingham v. North Carolina, Doe v. Reed, and Watchtower Bible v. Stratton.


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