The case for confidentiality

Wednesday, February 24, 2021
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

green donate button on keyboardAt least two law firms maintain that Americans should be free to support causes without fear of harassment.

Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing a Michigan-based nonprofit filed their first brief Monday with the U.S. Supreme Court since it agreed to hear the case Thomas More Law Center v. Becerra.

The high court agreed to hear the case after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that Thomas More Law Center—and all other nonprofits who solicit donations in California—must disclose the names and addresses of major donors to the California attorney general on an annual basis.

"We get involved in a lot of controversial issues, and in California what we've noticed and what has actually occurred is that thousands of these so-called confidential records of donors to nonprofit organizations have been released to the public," Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel at Thomas More Law Center, told One News Now in January

Thompson, Richard (TMLC)"There are many cases where individuals who have been identified as contributing to an organization like the Thomas More Law Center -- we oppose same-sex marriage," Thompson detailed. "They are ... many times disciplined by their employer -- sometimes fired, sometimes lose business. So it's very important, especially for religious organizations to maintain their donor base privately."

The Ninth Circuit's ruling reversed a district court's decision following a trial that found that the California attorney general's office has no compelling need for the information.

"In addition, the Office of the Attorney General publicly exposed confidential donor information on the internet and created a perfect target for hackers by uploading thousands of confidential documents to the cloud, where they were easily discovered," adds Alliance Defending Freedom.

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