In a 6-3 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on July 1, 2021 that a California law requiring nonprofits to reveal the names of their major donors to the government is “facially unconstitutional.” Had that decision gone the other way, Knife Rights could have been compelled to release the names of its major donors to the state.
Knife Rights supported the efforts to void California’s new law that may have exposed its donors to potential harassment and impacted our ability to raise funds. Had the law been found constitutional, there’s little doubt that other states would have followed California’s lead. There was also every likelihood that there would be attempts at some point to lower the threshold on the donor amount to cover more donors.
The lawsuit claimed, and the opinion found, that the law infringed on the First Amendment’s protection of freedom of association because the disclosure requirements created a “chilling effect” on speech and “actual and potential” donations. The majority opinion was written by Chief Justice John Roberts.