We all know the People’s Republic of California love to rule with an iron fist, right? Well, federal regulations require charities to disclose a list of their major donors, to help protect those donor’s interests, in case those charities are doing some shady shit.
Well, California, believing themselves to be better than the federal government are requiring companies give them donor names and addresses as well. Here’s the rub.
California has had breeches of these lists, and leaked that info to the public. So for instance, if some dude has a hard on for Jesus, and donates to an anti-abortion group, Californians outs that motherfucker as an “anti women’s rights” person, when they had no desire to have their position publicly outed. While we here at Logical Libertarian are pro-choice, we consider a pro-life stance a fair belief to have, and that belief has nothing to do with women’s rights, it has everything to do with giving basic human rights to a human life that merely hasn’t exited the womb yet.
No one who’s pro choice is out there pushing to take away women’s rights in any other way. This is merely a misleading tactic to get people to join their side.
So charity Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and their peers are arguing this is a violation of their first amendment rights to freely associate, because it might deter them from otherwise donating to their cause.
They hear California’s argument that it’s to help prevent charities fraud, but they’re like, California never even uses that information to do that, all they do is fucking leak it when they don’t like people. Not to mention, the IRS already has that info.
In the words of the defense:
Because the attorney general has failed to take measures to adequately protect the Schedule B forms, some donors will consider the Attorney General’s scheme and reasonably conclude that the risks of disclosure are too great.The group cited that California employees themselves, posted over 1800 of these forms on a public website, just to out donors they disliked.
California contends, this doesn’t directly prevent anyone from freely associating, so they’re calling bullshit. If people believe in a charity, they can donate to it all they want, we just want to know about it, and we may tell the world about it because we’re assholes.
So throughout the case, the terms strict scrutiny and exacting scrutiny have been bandied about. The petitioner’s want a strict scrutiny ruling. Which seems to mean that if the state wants this info, it has to go about getting it in the least intrusive way possible, and this isn’t it.
However, the state is arguing that an exacting scrutiny standard should be applied, and because this law doesn’t actually have a component to prevent free association, the petitioner’s argument is bullshit. They’re not associating because they’re afraid of being publicly outed, not because the state is preventing it. So it’s not EXACTLY preventing free association.
A handful of whiny twats in congress for the DNC asked Justice Barrett to recuse herself, since Americans for Prosperity donated heavily to help ensure she was confirmed to the supreme court. She was unimpressed with their argument, and did in fact participate. She’s nominated for life, after all, so there’s no power they hold over her, and she has no reason to side against what she thinks is right. This is likely an attempt at Democrats to both get more information for Commie Cali, and to attack Barrett for her Christianity again, as they did when she was confirmed.
We here at Logical Libertarian are also atheist, but we find these attacks on her religion equally disgusting as misrepresenting anti-abortion arguments.
Anyway, back to the case. California’s argument is that they need this info to investigate charities fraud. But the petitioner is like, “That’s some fucking bullshit. They never use this info for that. They never investigate charities fraud proactively, to where they’d need this info on hand. They only fucking investigate when there’s an actual accusation of fraud or some shit, in which case, they send an audit letter, or subpoena the info. So there’s no need to have this shit ahead of time.
Gorsuch, going after California, pushed on the right to privacy issue specifically, asking if the first amendment’s right to peaceably assemble also assumes some level of privacy, to which she responded it did. So then Gorsuch asked her to draw a distinction between California charities disclosed up front, and say some company being forced to send their company Christmas card list, to see if they’re friends with anyone government cares about, or who they’ve dated in the past so they try to compile data on who people end up marrying?
Counsel danced around this, in saying that if the people in question had a fear of reprisal, they could certainly argue that as a reason why not to disclose such info. But notice that this flips the script, and argues that government has a right to demand it, and it can only be thwarted if the people cite a reason why, as opposed to the people have a right not to disclose it, until government proves it has a compelling interest that supersedes their right to privacy. And this is why it’s Communist California, and not a state which gives a fuck about rights in any meaningful way.
Gorsuch however, interrupted her and said, “assume there’s no reprisal whatsoever.”
Aimee A. Feinberg
I think that would be very difficult because, in that situation, there would be a significant burden on intimate association.
There would very likely be a significant burden resulting from public dissemination of that kind of information. And, as a result, the government would have to come forward with a commensurately strong justification, and it wouldn’t be clear to me in that context what that interest would be.
Call me crazy, but she ultimately just made the argument for the petitioner’s.
In a 6:3 partisan decision, liberty won out. The conservatives protected the 1st amendment rights of charitable donors against the commie assholes in California. The dissenters argued that this is a pretty creative interpretation of the first amendment, and opens the door to other shaky 1A arguments. But you know what, fuck those assholes. California was out of line, and I don’t mind saying it.
Hear oral arguments or read about the case, here.