Supreme Court restores privacy in smackdown of California

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  texan1211  •  4 weeks ago  •  31 comments

By:   Luke Wachob (MSN)

Supreme Court restores privacy in smackdown of California
When you join with others in support of a cause, state officials don't have a right to track you. That's the upshot of last week's Supreme Court ruling affirming the right to support nonprofit groups without being monitored by the state.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



When you join with others in support of a cause, state officials don't have a right to track you. That's the upshot of last week's Supreme Court ruling affirming the right to support nonprofit groups without being monitored by the state.

© Provided by Washington Examiner

In an opinion likely to be recognized as a landmark case, the court struck down a California requirement that charities turn over a list of their major supporters before soliciting donations. The state failed to prove it needed the lists to enforce its tax laws or anything else.

California claimed it would keep the supporter names confidential. But a trial in the lower court revealed that the state carelessly exposed thousands of charity donor lists on a public website, a mistake that can't be undone. Once a person's identity and membership in a group is publicly exposed online, they are forever vulnerable to harassment and retaliation for their beliefs. Today's unforgiving cancel culture heightens those threats.

Fortunately, the Supreme Court on Thursday reaffirmed the "vital relationship" between freedom of association and privacy. If people reasonably fear that their membership in a group will be revealed, either publicly or to powerful state officials, they will be deterred from exercising their First Amendment rights to assemble and speak out on controversial issues. Just as we vote in private booths, we have a right to join and speak in private groups.

When the government wishes to pierce this privacy, it needs a good reason. California failed to provide one. Yet it found support from politicians who have fought to rebrand movements of private citizens as nefarious "dark money groups." This effort has led to numerous state laws over the last decade treating long-standing nonprofit organizations as campaign committees. These laws expose sensitive information about private citizens to state officials while revealing nothing to voters about government. They call it transparency.

Free speech advocates warned that the campaign against so-called dark money would be a race to the bottom that puts everyone's privacy at risk. California proved their case, demanding supporter lists from every charitable organization in the state. No wonder it was opposed in Thursday's case by hundreds of groups from across the political spectrum, including the United States Chamber of Commerce, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the Zionist Organization of America.

The court was careful to note in its ruling that this was no campaign finance case. The plaintiffs are charitable organizations barred by federal law from participating in campaigns. That hasn't stopped disgruntled politicians from claiming the decision is a strike against campaign finance laws.

The real takeaway should be how broadly First Amendment rights were violated before the Supreme Court stepped in. The right to join and support nonprofit organizations privately was unanimously recognized by the Supreme Court way back in 1958. Yet that precedent had been eroded so thoroughly that California eventually felt free to ignore it altogether. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed it could.

The Supreme Court corrected that grave error with a decision that begins to restore freedom of association to the vaunted status it rightfully held in the 20th century. Hopefully, one day we will look back and see that California's overreach awakened the court to the new generation of threats facing our most fundamental First Amendment freedoms.

Luke Wachob is the communications director at the Institute for Free Speech in Washington, D.C.

Tags:Opinion, Beltway Confidential, Blog Contributors, Supreme Court, California, Donors, First Amendment, Free Speech

Original Author:Luke Wachob

Original Location:Supreme Court restores privacy in smackdown of California


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Texan1211
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Texan1211    4 weeks ago

What in hell was California thinking when it passed that crappy law?

 
 
 
dennis smith
Masters Silent
1.1  dennis smith  replied to  Texan1211 @1    4 weeks ago

They weren't thinking.

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Guide
1.2  Tacos!  replied to  Texan1211 @1    4 weeks ago

I think a lot of times, state and local legislators pass a law just because it’s what they want, even though they know in their hearts that it’s probably unconstitutional. They’re basically daring someone to take them to court. And who knows? Maybe they’ll get lucky and get a good ruling.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
1.3  XXJefferson51  replied to  Texan1211 @1    3 weeks ago

They saw what happened when the state leaked a donor list to a liberal interest group after an election in 2008 where gay marriage was on the ballot and all the pro proposition 8 donors were doxxed and then canceled at their jobs and schools.  They wanted a repeat of that to intimidate citizens into not donating to conservative causes.  

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
2  seeder  Texan1211    4 weeks ago
The Supreme Court corrected that grave error with a decision that begins to restore freedom of association to the vaunted status it rightfully held in the 20th century. Hopefully, one day we will look back and see that California's overreach awakened the court to the new generation of threats facing our most fundamental First Amendment freedoms.

Damn shame the 9th Circuit is so lousy.

 
 
 
dennis smith
Masters Silent
2.1  dennis smith  replied to  Texan1211 @2    4 weeks ago

There are always some who praise the SCOTUS when they like a ruling and bitch about them when they don't agree. 

The law of the land only applies part time to them.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
2.2  XXJefferson51  replied to  Texan1211 @2    3 weeks ago

Sen. Schumer seemed more angry about losing this case than the Arizona one…It’s all about controlling others.  

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
3  CB     4 weeks ago
The Supreme Court corrected that grave error with a decision that begins to restore freedom of association [and privacy] to the vaunted status it rightfully held in the 20th century. Hopefully, one day we will look back and see that California's overreach awakened the court to the new generation of threats facing our most fundamental First Amendment freedoms.

"Begins to restore. . . " — not the "be all" that ends it all, eh?

Since the article uses the word, "privacy" three times in your selection, it strikes me that this privacy issue should come into focus again when Mississippi's abortion case is 'next' in SCOTUS. We will see if "dark money, privacy" trumps female privacy. Or, maybe Planned Parenthood should just come non-profit and call it a day?

Where is the justice in dark money (because it is 'muscular') holding sway over and against privacy of a womb?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  CB @3    4 weeks ago
We will see if "dark money, privacy"

What dark money are you referring to specifically?

The article made it clear that the California law applied to charitable organizations, which are forbidden in engaging in politics.

Or, maybe Planned Parenthood should just come non-profit and call it a day?

Planned Parenthood is already a non-profit, and has been for many years.

Where is the justice in dark money (because it is 'muscular') holding sway over and against privacy of a womb?

Again, what dark money are you referring to? Would you prefer that the California law stood, and donors to PP were exposed to public scrutiny and derision?

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
3.1.1  CB   replied to  Texan1211 @3.1    4 weeks ago
Yet it found support from politicians who have fought to rebrand movements of private citizens as nefarious "dark money groups." This effort has led to numerous state laws over the last decade treating long-standing nonprofit organizations as campaign committees. These laws expose sensitive information about private citizens to state officials while revealing nothing to voters about government. They call it transparency. Free speech advocates warned that the campaign against so-called dark money would be a race to the bottom that puts everyone's privacy at risk. California proved their case, demanding supporter lists from every charitable organization in the state. No wonder it was opposed in Thursday's case by hundreds of groups from across the political spectrum, including the United States Chamber of Commerce, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the Zionist Organization of America.
 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.2  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  CB @3.1.1    4 weeks ago
Yet it found support from politicians who have fought to rebrand movements of private citizens as nefarious "dark money groups."

You do get that is referring to what many progressive liberal politicians are claiming to appeal to their base.

Since non-profits are prohibited from campaigning, these donations that California was forcing disclosure of by name is clearly and plainly not dark money.

In any case, sanity has been restored and the California law struck down by SCOTUS.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
3.1.3  CB   replied to  Texan1211 @3.1    4 weeks ago
The Health 202: Funding for Planned Parenthood went up – yes, up – during the Trump administration

There is one antiabortion pledge President Trump hasn’t kept: his promise to defund Planned Parenthood.

Instead, federal funds to the women’s health-care and abortion provider grew during the first two and a half years of his administration. 

Government reimbursements and grants to Planned Parenthood hit record levels in the group’s fiscal years starting in 2017 and 2018 , according to its most recent financial disclosure, even as the administration and Republicans in Congress and around the country endeavored — mostly unsuccessfully — to cut the provider out of government revenue streams wherever possible.

That reality has mostly flown under the radar, even as Trump has been praised by abortion rights opponents as being the friendliest president to their cause.

But Marjorie Dannenfelser, who is president of the antiabortion Susan B. Anthony List and has emerged as one of Trump’s most vocal supporters, told me she and her colleagues are “very aware” and “not happy” about the dollars.

“I think there is a great desire to get the executive branch to do something about it, but there is very little that can be done,” said Dannenfelser, who co-chairs a coalition of antiabortion activists supporting Trump’s reelection bid.

The funding increases stem largely from the Medicaid program.

Medicaid payments have long formed the bulk of federal funds flowing to Planned Parenthood, reimbursing its clinics for providing birth control and preventive services to low-income Americans. The provider reported $616.8 million in government revenue in its most recent report, which was for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. That's up from $543.7 million when Trump took office in 2017.About half of Planned Parenthood's patients are on Medicaid, according to the organization.

Medicaid doesn’t pay for abortions , but Republicans have still repeatedly tried to cut abortion providers from the program entirely, arguing all funds are fungible. And they’ve mostly been thwarted.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
3.1.4  CB   replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.2    4 weeks ago
In any case.

In any case, as a liberal, I can only take it at face-value. As I am not a political operative to be kept in the loop of what truly classified "dark money" spirits itself around to do. I only used the article to bring out the 'concern.'

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.5  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  CB @3.1.3    3 weeks ago

Have you read the article?

Do you understand that it just doesn't have anything to do with abortion?

Please return to topic.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4  CB     3 weeks ago

Look, if the state of California was found wanting-then so be it. I want the best for this country's citizens. (I have read what you seeded.)

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  CB @4    3 weeks ago

Not found wanting, just found wrong.

Best for citizens to be able to keep their privacy, despite what some dumb politicians wanted.

Perhaps they will learn a lesson and be more careful in their lawmaking net time.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
4.1.1  CB   replied to  Texan1211 @4.1    3 weeks ago
Best for citizens to be able to keep their privacy, despite what some dumb politicians wanted.

You keep flirting with the term, PRIVACY, but when I expand on it to include abortion privacy you request that I return to topic. Privacy is more than a singular focused issue for you to beat California officials about the head and shoulders. Abortion and a girl's or woman's right to privacy, coming down the line in SCOTUS 2011-2022, is an area of red-states interest which can take a lesson from this possible "landmark case."  Where am I wrong? Who are  "some dumb politicians" on female wombs?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
4.1.2  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  CB @4.1.1    3 weeks ago
You keep flirting with the term, PRIVACY, but when I expand on it to include abortion privacy you request that I return to topic.

Well, after one reads the article, they are usually able to tell that abortion isn't the issue. That makes abortion off topic.

Privacy is more than a singular focused issue for you to beat California officials about the head and shoulders.

Yes, privacy covers more area than this. But abortion isn't the topic. Kind of makes sense to direct comments to California officials, as they were the brilliant legal minds that passed and enforced this "law".

Abortion and a girl's or woman'sright to privacy, coming down the line inSCOTUS 2011-2022,is an area ofred-statesinterestwhich can take a lesson from this possible "landmark case."

Then that will make a great seed one day when the matter is ruled on. Not the same thing though, as has been pointed out repeatedly to you now. 

You may not know this, but I am all for every woman in America having access to abortion, and I hope they have all they want and can afford. So if you think you are going to bait me into some debate about abortion rights you are sadly and resoundingly wrong.

Where am I wrong? Who are  "some dumb politicians"on female wombs?

I suggest you start your very own seed where you can discuss abortion to your heart's content. Once AGAIN, this isn't the topic here, so please stop trying to deflect and derail this seed.

I have been nicely trying to tell you to stay on topic, but my patience is growing thin.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5  CB     3 weeks ago

What's the takeaway here that needs additional expounding on? It happened. Courts disagreed on a  'remedy.' SCOTUS concluded the matter. Where is the thing needing 'vocalizing'? It's done. I do not see a need for a 'spiking of the ball.' Mind you, I am not "in" or "read" into a position on this, so it's news to me and I am not against a proper solution wherever it leads and lands.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  CB @5    3 weeks ago
What's the takeaway here that needs additional expounding on?

It is a news story like most seeds here. Do you ask that of other seeders, because I haven't ever seen it before?

Apparently you have some kind of issue with the seeded article or just want to talk about other things.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5.1.1  CB   replied to  Texan1211 @5.1    3 weeks ago

Okay, I got it. In conclusion: Enjoy this narrowly focus on bashing California. Bye!!  The state can survive bashing; now lack of rain that's worrisome. (Smile.)

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.2  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  CB @5.1.1    3 weeks ago
Okay, I got it.

Fantastic!!

In conclusion: Enjoy this narrowly focus on bashing California.

perhaps you only consider it narrow because it isn't about abortion.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
5.1.3  XXJefferson51  replied to  CB @5.1.1    3 weeks ago

It’s not about bashing California.  It’s about protecting the rights of the minority here against the ability of the majority to silence us. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5.1.4  CB   replied to  XXJefferson51 @5.1.3    3 weeks ago

The court case win is one thing; bashing that is expected here as par for the course is another thing.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.5  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  CB @5.1.4    3 weeks ago

Sorry, but on this article, people are allowed to express their opinion no matter how much some others don't like it.

 
 
 
XXJefferson51
Senior Guide
5.1.6  XXJefferson51  replied to  CB @5.1.1    3 weeks ago

The rain is a problem.  I live in one of the places where a lot of the states water originates.  We normally get about 40” of rain fall here and the three river hills to the north of us to Mt. Shasta get 2-3 times that.  Well, we got 13” July 1 last year to June 30 this year.  Almost all of our rain comes between mid November to mid May so it’s going to be rough until Thanksgiving at least. 

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5.1.7  CB   replied to  Texan1211 @5.1.5    3 weeks ago

In conclusion. Riiiggght. As long as stated opinion runs along the strict scrutiny talking points of some conservative (for the day)! I dare not mention the hypocrisy further than what was shooed off the board above though relevant to privacy which is topic 'fodder.'

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5.1.8  CB   replied to  XXJefferson51 @5.1.6    3 weeks ago

It is a problem. However, we're survive. We have no other choice. The rain will come back. Come back rain we 'woo' you! (Strums guitar; smile.)

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.9  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  CB @5.1.7    3 weeks ago

Opinions related to the topic at hand are welcome. Off topic discussions about your little pet peeves are not.

 
 
 
CB
Professor Principal
5.1.10  CB   replied to  Texan1211 @5.1.9    3 weeks ago

Ta-ta.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
5.1.11  seeder  Texan1211  replied to  CB @5.1.10    3 weeks ago

Good by!!

 
 
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