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Sep 29

Advocacy and the First Amendment: Should Nonprofits Disclose Their Donors?


Critics of the current campaign process for state and federal offices are urging states and Congress to require nonprofit advocacy organizations to disclose the identity of their donors to the government, and thus the public, when they engage in political speech and discussion of issues that may affect candidates for political office. Does this violate associational and free speech rights under the First Amendment? Is this a necessary requirement for transparency in the election process? Does mandatory disclosure violate the right to privacy and can it negatively affect the ability of nonprofits to operate on behalf of their members? Does disclosure benefit the public and inform their ability to make choices in the election process?

Join us as two legal and campaign experts discuss the constitutionality of mandatory disclosure and the public policy questions surrounding this issue. The program will be hosted by a former member of the Federal Election Commission and the Manager of The Heritage Foundation’s Election Law Reform Initiative.

More About the Speakers

Bradley A. Smith
Chairman, Center for Competitive Politics, and Blackmore/Nault Professor of Law, Capital University Law School

John Samples
Vice President and Publisher, Cato Institute

Hosted By

Hans A. von Spakovsky Hans A. von Spakovsky

Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow Read More