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Supreme Court says nonprofits need not report names of top donors to states

Supreme Court building
Posted at 9:11 AM, Jul 01, 2021

The Supreme Court has struck down a lower court's ruling and held that two California charities need not disclose the names of their top donors to the state.

On Thursday, the high court ruled in favor of two conservative charities, Americans for Prosperity and the Thomas More Law Center, who argued that they should not be required to identify their top donors to the California attorney general's office, citing the First Amendment.

California law had required the charities to provide details about top donors to the state to prevent donor fraud. The Associated Press reports that the information is already provided to the IRS and that California has said that the information remains private.

Americans for Prosperity was founded by the billionaire Koch Brothers, who are longtime conservative donors. Thomas More Law Center is a Catholic legal group that fights for conservative causes.

While conservative charities were the focus of the court's ruling, nonprofit groups across ideological lines also backed their fight. The Associated Press notes that the ACLU and the NAACP Defense and Educational Fund also supported the challenge.

The Justices ruled 6-3 along ideological lines.