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Defending Donor Privacy Against Unconstitutional AZ Prop 211

Center for Arizona Policy v. Hobbs

Case Status

Date Filed

December 15, 2022

Last Step

Filed motion for preliminary injunction.

Next Step

Briefing underway.

Case Overview

Everyone has the right to support causes they believe in without fear of harassment, retaliation, or being canceled. Unfortunately, a new measure in Arizona—Proposition 211—tramples on this foundational right. It requires individuals who donate to nonprofits to risk having their private information reported to the government and disclosed to the public. It was sold to Arizonans under the guise of transparency and “disclosure.” But voters weren’t told the full story. What disclosure really means is your identity ends up on a government list for everyone to see. What Prop 211 does is flip our constitutional arrangement on its head. Privacy is for individuals; transparency is for the government. Under Prop 211, there is compelled disclosure for individuals, while the government silences speech, and decides what rules and regulations to impose free from democratic accountability.

Prop 211—the Voters’ Right to Know Act—enacts burdensome disclosure requirements for organizations that speak on issues of public concern in Arizona. The main requirement of Prop 211 is that organizations that spend more than $50,000 total “in campaign media spending” over a two-year period must disclose any donor who gave more than $5,000 during that same two years. The identity of the donors will then be reported to the government and made public.

This will open up donors, especially those who support unpopular causes, to violence, harassment, and the risk of “cancellation.” This harmful measure applies to nonprofit organizations discussing issues of public importance across the ideological spectrum, and reaches the activities of traditional charities that engage in policy discussions.

This is why the Goldwater Institute, through its Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Government, is stepping in and leading the charge against the new law. Goldwater Institute attorneys are representing Arizona nonprofits and charitable donors who are choosing to exercise their fundamental constitutional right to speech and association.

Case Logistics

The Goldwater Institute represents the Center for Arizona Policy, the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, and two private donors in their suit against the Arizona Secretary of State and the Arizona Clean Elections Commission, and public officials charged with implementing and enforcing the measure in their official capacities.

The case was filed in the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County on December 13, 2022.

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