Nationwide, liberal politicians are trying to silence conservative, libertarian and Christian voices… like the IRS scandal.
Take a look at the latest efforts – from California.
California’s attorney general, Kamala Harris, is making another attempt to silence conservative speech.
She has filed a lawsuit against the conservative group, Center for Competitive Politics, demanding that they disclose their full list of donors to the state.
Under federal law, donor lists for non-profits are treated as confidential. While they do give a full list of donors to the IRS, the law prohibits the IRS from giving these lists to state attorneys general.
Forcing this disclosure would be a gross violation of First Amendment rights and federal law, but Kamala Harris’ threat is real – as she oversees the licensing of charities and nonprofits in CA.
An unconstitutional decision on this case would have huge consequences for non-profits.
So 58 nationwide organizations filed an amicus brief, supporting the Center for Competitive Politics’ right to donor confidentiality.
They point out legal precedent for this case: the court cannot compel disclosure of NAACP membership because doing so would suppress association. Only an “overriding interest” of the state can justify compelled disclosure.
“The right of the people peaceably to assemble” – closely linked to freedom of speech – is one of the fundamental rights protected by the First Amendment.
Freedom of assembly means that government cannot interfere with groups and associations the people form. Making donor lists public would be an interference – effectively an attempt to shut down these groups – because hostile groups and individuals could threaten the safety of donors and keep them from donating.
In fact, Kamala Harris has another lawsuit pending with Americans for Prosperity, a group whose donors and supporters have already been harassed and received death threats.
Shutting down these groups is a scheme to silence them. This case shows how essential freedom of association is to freedom of speech – if the groups are shut down so is their voice.
The 58 non-profit organizations on the brief include:
- National Organization for Marriage (IRS leaked their donor names to hostile blogs)
- Media Research Center
- Concerned Women for America
- Citizens United
- Family Research Council
- Faith and Freedom Coalition
- Leadership Institute
Kamala Harris is an example of the prevalent Democratic agenda – silencing conservative opposition because they fear they cannot win in the free market of ideas.
What do you think? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.