Thursday, May 19, 2016
Conservative Group Fights California AG’s Attempt to ‘Chill’ Speech
Though a federal judge recently ruled that a conservative nonprofit group doesn’t have to disclose its donor list to California’s Democratic attorney general, conservatives believe this case is just the latest in an ongoing fight related to political activity and free speech.
“This was a great victory for free speech for everyone in this country,” said Mark Holden, the general counsel for Koch Industries, and a board member of Americans for Prosperity, the group asked to disclose its donor list.
“This effort to chill our right to the First Amendment is critical to what the left’s whole agenda is,” Holden told The Daily Signal in an interview. “They talk about getting big money out of politics, but what they really mean is going after speech and activity they disagree with, made by groups they disagree with.”
But the legal fight is not over, because Harris intends to challenge the decision with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The case centers around Harris’ aim to enforce a California state law that requires charities, such as Americans for Prosperity, to file a copy of their IRS tax return with the state, including a so-called Schedule B form that includes the names and addresses of donors who donated more than $5,000 during a year.
In his order, Real said Harris had failed to prove that the state needs donor information to properly investigate charities active in California.