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Archived: Limited and Ethical Government Legal Cases

Since its creation in 1977, MSLF has been one of the Nation's leading legal centers fighting to ensure that the federal government remains a limited government and a government of laws and not men and women. MSLF recognizes that the Constitution was written, not to protect the various units or levels of government, but to preserve the liberty of the American people. MSLF is committed to ensuring that they continue to have that freedom and opportunity.

Center For Competitive Politics v. Harris

Legal Question:

Whether a state may automatically require a charitable organization to disclose the confidential information of its contributors as a precondition to the organization doing business in that state?

Petitioner

Center for Competitive Politics

Respondent

Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General of California

Court:

Supreme Court of the United States
Unknown

The Center for Competitive Politics is an educational organization under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, but to solicit charitable contributions in California must register with California’s Registry of Charitable Trusts, administered by California’s Department of Justice.  To maintain its registered status, the Center must file an annual report with the California Attorney General, which includes an unredacted Schedule B of IRS Form 990.  Since registering in 2008, the Center submitted only its redacted Schedule B, but in 2014, for the first time, the Attorney General demanded an unredacted Schedule B.

In March of 2014, the Center filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief and a motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin the Attorney General from requiring an unredacted Schedule B.  The Center argued that the demand “unconstitutionally infringes on its First Amendment freedom of association[,]” because any limit on associational freedom must be narrow and specific and in pursuit of a compelling government interest.  The California federal district court disagreed, demanded proof of actual constitutional injury, and denied the injunction.

On May 1, 2015, a Ninth Circuit panel held that the Center failed to show an actual burden on its or its supporters’ First Amendment rights; thus, the Attorney General’s law enforcement purpose was enough to justify the harm to those rights.  The panel affirmed the lower court’s ruling. Constitution reads, “No county, city, town, township fees.

 On July 30, 2015, the Center filed its petition.  On September 2, 2015, in a brief written by Pacific Legal Foundation, MSLF and five other nonprofits asked the Court to review whether the Attorney General’s demand is constitutional.   

No Status Updates
  • Court Must Review California’s Unconstitutional Acts

    Sep 2, 2015
    A western nonprofit legal group that has battled unconstitutional actions by federal, state, and local officials for decades today joined with other similar groups in urging review by the Supreme Court of the United States of the unconstitutional actions by the Attorney General of California.


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