OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
When Kamala Harris was still the attorney general for the state of California she issued a decree that charitable non-profits would have to disclose their donor lists but the Supreme Court just smacked her down.
She told the charities that they would have to submit the lists of top donors and if they did not she would levy heavy fines against them, the Washington Examiner reported.
“It all started when her office demanded that we turn over the names and contact information of our major donors, which we felt was private and confidential, and we were ready to make a constitutional issue of it,” Richard Thompson, who serves as the president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, which is one of two plaintiffs in the case, said.
After a six-year legal battle, the center and the Americans for Prosperity Foundation prevailed Thursday before the Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision that found California’s demand for donor data “facially unconstitutional.”
The case now bears the name of California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who assumed office in April, but conservatives and free-speech advocates want to ensure that the pivotal role played by Ms. Harris is not forgotten.
The court sided with the conservatives that were suing in saying that such a requirement would infringe on the First Amendment.
“Our cases have said that disclosure requirements can chill association [e]ven if there [is] no disclosure to the general public,” Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote. “While assurances of confidentiality may reduce the burden of disclosure to the State, they do not eliminate it.”
The case was supported by more than 300 groups, from liberal groups in addition to conservatives, Fox News reported.
“Americans shouldn’t have to choose between staying safe or speaking up,” Emily Seidel, the AFP Foundation CEO, said. “History shows us the ability to maintain privacy makes it possible for people to join together on causes and in movements.”
“That was the case for the Civil Rights movement, marriage equality, and is still the case today,” she said. “Especially in a polarized climate, the work of addressing injustice and advocating for change is hard enough without people facing the fear of harassment and retaliation from the government and from potentially violent opposition.”
Harris did not respond to Fox News’ request for comment. Perhaps she was busy fixing her office that was described by some of her staff as “abusive.”
People inside Kamala Harris’ office have described an office that is in chaos and her decision to finally visit the United States and Mexico border had blindsided some.
Her aides and supporters were texting each other for days about the political repercussions of the potential trip when suddenly the trip was announced.
The handling of the border visit was the latest chaotic moment for a staff that’s quickly become mired in them. Harris’ team is experiencing low morale, porous lines of communication and diminished trust among aides and senior officials.
Much of the frustration internally is directed at Tina Flournoy, Harris’ chief of staff, a veteran of Democratic politics who began working for her earlier this year.
In interviews, 22 current and former vice presidential aides, administration officials and associates of Harris and Biden described a tense and at times dour office atmosphere. Aides and allies said Flournoy, in an apparent effort to protect Harris, has instead created an insular environment where ideas are ignored or met with harsh dismissals and decisions are dragged out. Often, they said, she refuses to take responsibility for delicate issues and blames staffers for the negative results that ensue.
While much of the ire is aimed at Harris’ chief, two administration officials said the VP herself also bears responsibility for the way her office is run. “It all starts at the top,” said one of the administration officials, who like others requested anonymity to be able to speak candidly about a sensitive matter.
“People are thrown under the bus from the very top, there are short fuses and it’s an abusive environment,” a person that Politico claims knows how her office works, said. “It’s not a healthy environment and people often feel mistreated. It’s not a place where people feel supported but a place where people feel treated like s—.”