April 30, 2021

In an opinion piece for The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Catholic Law Professor Roger Colinvaux discussed the potential consequences of a case that was argued before the Supreme Court on Monday, April 26. The case in question—Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta—seeks to overturn a California law that requires charities raising funds in the state to report confidentially the identity of major donors. Previously, Colinvaux was one of 12 other tax scholars to submit a friend-of-the-court brief in the case. In this article, Colinvaux explains that the case has the potential to upend over 50 years of federal transparency laws covering charitable giving and oversight. If the Court strikes down the California law, Colinvaux urges the Court to limit the holding to avoid casting unnecessary doubt on the validity of federal law.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy
By: Roger Colinvaux
Date: April 28, 2021
Donor Privacy Case Before Supreme Court Is a Threat to Nonprofit Transparency

If the Supreme Court rules against California, a narrow ruling based on the state’s past failures to keep the information confidential is therefore critical to avoid casting unnecessary doubt on federal law. The court should be mindful that public information reporting is the cornerstone of transparency for the charitable world, providing in most cases the only access Americans have to how billions of tax-subsidized funds are spent — and whether to trust an organization with their contributions.

To read Professor Roger Colinvaux’s full op-ed, click here.