Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Press Release

Supreme Court Strikes Down California Reporting Rule Meant To Prevent Charitable Fraud and Self-Dealing

WASHINGTON -

Today, wealthy special interests scored a win, albeit a narrow one. We at Campaign Legal Center are disappointed that the majority chose to sidestep established precedent recognizing the important public interests in nonprofit reporting and relatively minimal burdens such reporting imposes. While the standard of review applied by the Court here was unduly skeptical, it is one transparency laws in the electoral context easily meet, limiting the reach of this case. The decision does not call into question the longstanding laws and regulations requiring public disclosure of campaign spending. 
   
The California Attorney General’s office used the confidential donor information in question to enforce the state’s non-profit regulations and prevent charitable fraud and self-dealing. This limited, non-public information served a key role in helping the state maintain oversight over organizations soliciting donations.  
   
This case addresses non-public tax reporting by charities, not public disclosure by those spending money to influence elections. Still, this ruling needlessly brushes aside precedent in favor of wealthy special interests—expanding an exemption originally reserved for marginalized groups to seven-figure donors hoping to insulate themselves from public criticism.  
   
American voters have repeatedly supported transparency measures that fight fraudulent activities by an overwhelming margin, understanding them to be essential to governmental integrity. While this decision does nothing to undercut the Court’s long recognition that transparency in the electoral context serves the vital interests of an informed electorate, it does significantly impact the state of California’s ability to detect fraud and self-dealing by organizations soliciting donations. 

###

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) advances democracy through law, fighting for every American’s right to participate in the democratic process. CLC uses tactics such as litigation, policy advocacy, communications and partnerships to win victories that result in a more transparent, accountable and inclusive democracy.

'Infuriating Disappointment': Biden DHS Ramping Up Deportations to Haiti

"It is unconscionable for the Biden administration to resume deportation flights to Haiti, despite the country's ongoing political, economic, and environmental disasters."

Jessica Corbett ·


Architect of Texas Abortion Ban Takes Aim at LGBTQ+ Rights While Urging Reversal of Roe

"Make no mistake, the goal is to force extreme, outdated, religious-driven values on all of us through the courts."

Jessica Corbett ·


Ahead of Canadian Election, Bernie Sanders and Rashida Tlaib Endorse NDP

"Bernie, you have fought courageously for public healthcare, affordable medication, making the rich pay their fair share, and tackling the climate crisis," said party leader Jagmeet Singh. "We're doing the same here."

Jessica Corbett ·


US Urged to End Drone Strikes After Pentagon Says Killing 10 Afghan Civilians Was 'Horrible Mistake'

"That was not a 'mistake,'" said journalist Anand Giridharadas. "War crimes are not oopsies."

Brett Wilkins ·


40+ NYC Activists Arrested for Protests Against Banks Fueling Climate Emergency

"We're sending a message loud and clear that the little action that politicians and greenwashing CEOs have taken so far does not begin to deal with the magnitude of this crisis."

Jessica Corbett ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo