In February 2020, Capital Research Center (CRC) president Scott Walter testified at an Internal Revenue Service public hearing on a then-proposed regulation that would permanently force nonprofits to disclose their largest donors’ names, addresses, and combined contributions to the government.
We could “be confident that some state government officials hope to use the forced donor disclosure,” according to Walter,
to expose donors to intimidation. The threat of intimidation against free speech is so great in our day that we have invented a new term, “cancel culture,” to recognize the threat. It was especially disingenuous for the State of California to pretend in a lawsuit over its efforts to coerce disclosure that there is no such threat. You’ll recall that the founder and CEO of a giant tech firm had to resign because of a small donation to a California ballot initiative that he had had exposed.
The then-pending California lawsuit was brought by two tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations against the state for its treatment of them. The public-charity plaintiffs claimed that California’s aggressive compelled-disclosure requirement unconstitutionally infringed on their First Amendment rights and those of their donors. Over the course of the long litigation, defendants in the case included then-California Attorney Generals Kamala Harris and Xavier Becerra.
The tech firm CEO who had to resign because of his disclosed donation was Mozilla’s Brendan Eich, who financially supported Proposition 8—which banned same-sex marriage. The proposition passed, but was later overturned in court. Eich was a relatively early victim of the “cancel culture” Walter described.
The California suit is no longer pending, and neither Harris nor Becerra are California’s attorney general anymore, either.
No Longer, but Still
Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court’s momentous ruling in Americans for Prosperity Foundation (AFPF) v. Bonta held, 6-3, that the California’s forced disclosure of donors to nonprofits is unconstitutional. The proposed IRS regulation against which Walter testified would thus not pass constitutional muster, either, of course.
In his opinion for the Court, Chief Justice John Roberts cited NAACP v. Alabama, in which nonprofit donors plausibly felt intimidated by what could result from disclosure of their personal information.
“[T]he Attorney General’s disclosure requirement imposes a widespread burden on donors’ associational rights,” Roberts’ AFPF v. Bonta opinion concludes. “And this burden cannot be justified on the ground that the regime is narrowly tailored to investigating charitable wrongdoing, or that the State’s interest in administrative convenience is sufficiently important.”
As for Harris, she’s now vice president of the United States, of course, and Becerra is the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Former Mozilla CEO Eich, though, remains former Mozilla CEO Eich—cancelled. He is the CEO of another, presumably less “woke” software company.
Cancel Culture’s Future
More generally, and concerningly, cancel culture has other contexts in which to assert itself, and it will do so. For its opponents like CRC and others—who will continue to try combatting its ill effects in many of these different contexts, too—AFPF v. Bonta bodes quite well.
Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!
Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://mitocopper.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST
Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomic.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST
Order by Phone at 888-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomics.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST
Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!
HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation
Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser! Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover - Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%! (See Video)