California AG and Harris Lose Supreme Court Battle After Violating 1st Amendment

The United States Supreme Court agreed with the Americans For Prosperity Foundation (AFP) over Interim Californian State Attorney Matthew Rodriguez on Thursday; the Supreme Court therefore ended a provision supported by Vice President Kamala Harris that Republicans feared may be used to attack them.

California’s Activities are Unlawful!

California’s identification rule is unlawful, according to Chief Justice John Roberts; Justice Roberts authored the ruling in a 6-3 judgment, as it infringes on contributors’ First Amendment rights and does not pertain to any essential government purpose.

In 2013, all while State Attorney of California, Harris wrote to AFP, requesting that the non-profit submit Schedule B forms opt to disclose its big contributors.

As per the Cato Institute, a Schedule B is a strictly secret document; this particular document discloses the home addresses of a nonprofit’s campaign contributors, even those who live elsewhere from California.

The AFP refused to provide the forms, claiming that this would discourage donors and violate the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Xavier Becerra replaced Harris as Attorney General, however, when he became Secretary of Health and Human Services; however, he was quickly replaced by Matthew Rodriguez.

Rodriguez claimed that Attorney’s Office started requesting Schedule B papers in 2010 to combat charity theft and self-serving, in the very same manner which the IRS conducts.

Thus according to court records, they also stated that they were not requesting Schedule B forms in order to target individuals or openly identify individuals who supported causes.

California has Violated the 1st Amendment 

California disclosed 1,800 Schedule B forms to the press, against the state’s secrecy rule, according to AFP, a conservative/Republican group.

The AFP also claimed that the Attorney General’s Office only used Schedule B papers for inquiries five times. Rather, as per court papers, the AG must follow the lead of 47 additional jurisdictions and subpoena organizations for documents during an inquiry.

Before being overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, a trial court found in favor of AFP. The Supreme Court overturned the Ninth Circuit’s decision, saying, among other things:

Options to random up-front disclosure have not been examined by California. In every situation, this is correct. Furthermore, the government’s motivation in gathering sensitive data for its own benefit is nil. In every situation, this is correct.

The First Amendment’s safeguards for freedom of expression are activated not only by real limits on an individual’s capacity to join together to advance shared interests. The threat of a chilling impact on association is sufficient because First Amendment liberties require breathing room to live.

Justices Kavanaugh and Barrett joined Roberts in their entirety, while Justices Alito and Gorsuch concurred in part.

Justices Alito and Thomas wrote agreeing opinions. Justice Sotomayer, Justice Breyer, and Justice Kagan all filed dissenting opinions.