Thursday, July 1, 2021

Also A Big Victory For The First Amendment

Overlooked a bit in the excitement--we are excited here, aren't we--over the AZ election law victory, CJ Roberts wrote the opinion in a major case that pretty unceremoniously slapped down the Left's totalitarian efforts to defund conservatives through rank intimidation. 

Some Roberts quotes:

California’s disclosure requirement is facially invalid because it burdens donors’ First Amendment rights and is not narrowly tailored to an important government interest.

We are left to conclude that the [CA] Attorney General’s disclosure requirement imposes a widespread burden on donors’ associational rights. And this burden cannot be justified on the ground that the regime is narrowly tailored to investigating charitable wrongdoing, or that the State’s interest in administrative convenience is sufficiently important.

The gravity of the privacy concerns in this context is further underscored by the filing of hundreds of organizations as amici curiae in support of the petitioners. Far from representing uniquely sensitive causes, these organizations span the ideological spectrum, and indeed the full range of human endeavors.

The deterrent effect feared by these organizations is real and pervasive.

In other words, the justices do follow the news. They've taken note of the Left's totalitarian trend, the efforts to suppress all dissent.

The Federalist has an article on the case:

SCOTUS Strikes Down California Donor Disclosure Policy As Unconstitutional

JULY 1, 2021 By Audrey Unverferth

On Thursday, the Supreme Court held that California cannot force nonprofits to disclose the names of their donors. By rendering California’s donor policy unconstitutional, Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta reaffirms Americans’ right to freely associate.

The article quotes Carrie Severino's Twitter analysis, which I'm reproducing below in unrolled form:

Today's ruling in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta is a huge victory for anonymous speech and donor privacy, which have played an essential role in our nation’s history from its inception. /1 

The decision reaffirms the Court's landmark decision in NAACP v. Alabama (1958), which held that the “freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of . . . freedom of speech." /2 

The case is a strong rebuke of states like California, whose forced disclosure laws are now facially invalid. A major victory for those—on both the right and the left—who sought protection from abusive governments that would bully or intimidate them for their views. /3 

Today’s decision was supported by a broad coalition of interest groups who filed friend of the court briefs. These groups cover the ideological spectrum. The Court observed, "The deterrent effect feared by these organizations is real and pervasive." /4 

As the ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Human Rights Campaign noted in a co-authored brief, freedom of association is “fundamental to our democracy, and has long been protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments" /5 

As the Chief Justice noted in his majority opinion, "the [district] court found that the petitioners had suffered from threats and harassment in the past, and that donors were likely to face similar retaliation in the future if their affiliations became publicly known." /6 

Finally, it's worth noting that both Xavier Becerra and Kamala Harris helped launch California's assault against the First Amendment.

A good reminder that Joe Biden promised moderation, but has delivered extremism. /7 


  1. I am not sure what to think about Chief Justice Roberts and his Supreme Court.

    Is he a strict Constitutionalist? Other decisions like Obamacare say no, but we have these other decisions.

    Or, is he, like I feel he is since he became Chief Justice, a protector of the Supreme Court with only some regard to the Constitution.

    One thing is for sure, since the Dems went on this court packing tirade, he is doing his best to show he, the court, is pretty darn unified, which gives support for my belief.

    But, still, I just don’t know.

    I mean, how in the world can he and the court see that forcing us to buy private goods and later on defend such things as in this post as being consistent?

    How in the world can we not view him and his court as being only for it’s sake?

  2. Spectacular day. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

  3. Rather O/T, but Derb wisely recommends an Atlantic piece by liberal George Packer, at .
    The four Americas layout rings true enough, which Derb summarizes as
    1 Free America. Late-20th-century conservatism: Reagan, Limbaugh, etc.
    2 Smart America. The globalist meritocracy.
    3 Real America. Sarah Palin, Donald Trump: populist nationalism.
    4 Just America. The Wokesters.

    Being a liberal, Packer here is hardly as fair as he should be to Trump, but he pulls very few punches about the other groups, e.g.:

    < The ideas of critical theorists became the instincts of Millennials. It wasn’t necessary to have read Foucault or studied under Judith Butler, to become adept with terms like centered, marginalized, privilege, and harm;
    to believe that words can be a form of violence;
    to close down a general argument with a personal truth (“You wouldn’t understand,” or just “I’m offended”);
    to keep your mouth shut, when identity disqualified you from speaking.
    Millions of young Americans were steeped in the assumptions of critical theory and identity politics, *without* knowing the concepts.
    Everyone sensed their power. Not everyone resisted the temptation to *abuse* it. >

    1. Another good read on Wokesters, this time in the MSM, at , e.g.:

      < It’s a media industry that mistakes its own, *parochial* view of the world, one shaped by its members’ particular biographical experiences, for a set of *universal* truths about injustice and oppression, truth and falsehood, right and wrong.
      Its hallmark is the self-importance and self-certainty of the activist, who comes to the world not with questions, but with answers and an agenda for change. It is self-righteous and incurious, rigid and intolerant, quick to *moralize*, and slow to empathize.
      It is running, on the fumes of the credibility it had amassed in its earlier instantiation, and it is, increasingly, of no use to anyone not already aligned with its agenda, and bought into its vision of social transformation.
      It’s the misdirected outrage of a jilted generation, inflicting its *vengeance* upon the rest of us. >

    2. An episode of the Fusion Networks' TV series Trumpland was directed by this Woodhouse, and was based on a book on the Alt-Right by Angela Nagle.

    3. They think that they discovered justice and all who passed before them labored in darkness.

    4. Back to Packard, who likely is rather representative of relatively-sane Elite opinion:
      he writes much worth reading, but him writing at such length, but ignoring a huge room-filling elephant raises much suspicion of deceit or myopia about his view of Real America.

      Consider this passage:
      "Trump *abused* every American institution— the FBI, the CIA, the armed forces, the courts, the press, the Constitution itself—and his people cheered.
      Nothing excited them like owning the libs. Nothing convinced them like Trump’s 30,000 *lies*."

      Nothing here, or anywhere else in this long essay, about the crimes/ lies of the DS, or its MSM pals,
      at/ on Waco, the Patriot Act, Dubya's/ Obama's warrantless wiretapping/ entrapments etc., the years-long Russia scam, the Horowitz Rept., etc.
      He purports to understand Real America, w/o facing the extent to which its Deplorables reasonably see their very *survival*, as being under ferocious assault, by a cabal of Himmler-esque/ Beria-esque Frankensteins.

      However, he couldn't refrain from Virtue Signalling on the 6 Jan. episode, as follows:

      "It achieved its *ultimate* expression on January 6, in... a mob of freedom-loving Americans... hunting down elected representatives to kidnap and *kill*."

      Reading only this, you'd never guess, that not a *single* one of those elected representatives received so much as a scratch, let alone were kidnapped or killed.
      Nor would you guess, that DS etc. agencies have, for many decades, been killing/ entrapping at least *dozens* of Deplorables (and others), under hugely suspicious circumstances, with all but total impunity.
      And, you'd never guess, that such civil liberties experts as (the world-famous) G. Greenwald see much reason to suspect, that at least some of this fear
      (of representatives being kidnaped or killed) likely stemmed from *agitation* by DS agents.

      So, Packard here has to attribute the very worst to (a few *hours* of action, involving a *fraction* of) Real America, but says boo about *decades* of DS etc. criminality.
      Packard's essay is a start, but his crowd is still a long way, from earning any sort of trust from (very major segments of) Real America.

    5. My overall impression was that the entire article is mostly virtue signaling--including the critiques of libs. It was written to stroke the egos of those who like to think they're out ahead of everyone else, including other libs.

    6. "written to stroke the egos of those who like to think they're out ahead of everyone else".
      Could well be, tho if they take to heart some of his critiques of the Smart and Just Americas, it may do some good.

      Some of his stuff on Smart America likely stems, from him knowing those folks all *too* well:

      "Those who make it can feel morally pleased with themselves— their talents, discipline, good choices— and even a grim kind of *satisfaction*, when they come across someone who hasn’t made it.
      Not “There but for the *grace* of God go I,” not even “Life is unfair,” but “You *should* have been more like me.”
      (His reference to) this Should is a gem, esp. in it's pretense that these Smartypants types *know* anything, of what the Losers coulda or shoulda tried to do.

    7. "knowing those folks all *too* well"

      I wouldn't be too sure of that. One of his criticisms of these people seems to be that they live in the suburbs, from which I assumed that he doesn't--that he lives in an elite city neighborhood. Therefore he doesn't know them all that well. Just guessing.

    8. I, too, am just guessing, that the diff between those live in elite city hoods, vs. those in burbs, isn't very great, esp. since the colleges where they all end up are more similar than different.
      Is Northwestern (or Evanston) all that different from De Paul (or it's Lakefront hood), e.g. in terms of the rather (subtly) narcissistic mentality common to all of those places?

    9. On reflection, I still insist that his essay is, in its way, a big step forward, esp. seeing as, in his last segment, he all-but nails it, in his vivid summary of the essence of these groups:

      “Free America *celebrates* the energy of the unencumbered individual.
      Smart America *respects* intelligence, and *welcomes* change.
      Real America *commits* itself to a place, and *has a sense* of limits.
      Just America *demands* a confrontation, with what the others want to avoid.”

      I can see the other Americas, over the long run, living with those who *celebrate* the indiv., *respect* intelligence, or *have a sense* of limits, but not with those who *demand* a confrontation.

      With those whose attitudes are dominated by celebration, respecting, welcoming, or having a sense of limits, hope can exist for working things out.
      But, toward those seen as *demanding* a confrontation, it only can be a fight to the death.
      Insofar as liberals can be brought to face the stark music faced here by Packer, the Wokesters can be brought to heel.

  4. Yes, both this and Brnovich are huge - this is the best day for the court in a long time.

    I look at this ruling and think what if it had been decided the other way. You know that every blue state in the country would have begun publishing donor lists and those people would have been professionally, financially, and perhaps physically attacked for nothing more than holding the "wrong" political beliefs. That would have been a Dem party and progressive activist's dream and a national nightmare. Instead we have a wonderful victory for freedom of association! And also privacy, which has been so under threat and attack by the government as to not even be a legal consideration anymore.

    Thank you Mark for your expert opinions and prognostication re: the Roberts strategy. It was so nice to be given that hope and now to see it realized. This is just one example of why I very much value your opinion and became a regular reader recently.

  5. I wish it had included the general political donation disclosure in Ca of anything over $100 from individuals.

    That is what got Brendan Eich fired.

    Opponents even set up a web page where you could search out donors with their address.

  6. We have this from the Supreme Court, but now we have this ...

    “ Arizona State Senators Michelle Ugenti-Rita and Paul Boyer voted with Democrats to kill State Senator Kelly Townsend’s SB1241, which had over 34 serious election integrity and security provisions.


    SB1241 was meant to Outline requirements for chain of custody, as well as consequences of a chain of custody violation. It also requires ballot receipts for voters and utilizes the Arizona Department of Transportation and County Recorder to clean voter rolls.“

    Which leads to my long thought that ...

    “ There seem to be two types of Republicans – those who learned something from the Trump era and those who didn’t. Unfortunately, there are far too many members of the GOP political class who appear to have been in a coma from 2016-2020, and the rush to return to the pre-Trump status quo has been apparent.


    As the minority party heading into 2022 with strong tailwinds, Republicans have one job. That job is to be the opposition. That means not making “deals” that worsen the plight of working-class voters in order to hand Joe Biden and his allies a huge win. GOP voters do not care about being bought off by payouts to obscure special interests. They care about knowing their representatives have the ability to actually hold the line.

    Now, to a normal person, that all seems like a rather easy task. After all, it only requires uttering one word over and over – no.“

    So, even if the Supreme Court hands the keys back to the states, it is not guaranteed that Republicans will generally give a damn.

    I have long ago soured on the GOP. Trump hasn’t, but political parties are transient even if that hasn’t been the case for some time.

    Trump got a lot wrong on punching down too much, but he had no choice because Republicans never punched down except on their own.

    Trump, though, went full out on most things Republicans stated that they wanted, obtained a lot, but was and still is rebuffed by many in his own party.

    Things are moving Trump’s way regarding the GOP, but not as much as should be.

    A one party nation, as we might see soon, will be disastrous, especially when that party deems America herself defect all the while being the chief architect on that defect from day one.

    1. The question this story--and others like it--is: how much collusion against Trump was there between the national party of the Senate/Congress and at least some of the state parties? GA, AZ, MI, PA? There's gotta be a story there.

  7. You win some, you lose some:

    "Federal judge blocks Florida Big Tech deplatforming law"

    "A Bill Clinton-appointed federal judge has thrown a wrench at the DeSantis administration’s efforts in Florida to clamp down on Big Tech censorship. The judge argued that the law was a violation of corporations’ free speech rights."

    Their censorship is considered free speech...

    Too much.


  8. Great point Mark!

    I have the feeling everyone in the gop leadership state snd federal, except Trump, knew about the voter fraud and in some cases aided and abetted it.

    My guess is Trump was too trusting, or perhaps naive.

    Before the election I would not have believed this level of voter fraud was possible in the US. Much less how the DOJ would ignore it, along with the congressional gop.

    But of course I did not believe the social media companies could ban Trump either.

    I feel like Alice in Wonderland.

    1. it doesn't take many, although the many need to be tolerant of the few.

    2. Please clarify "the many need to be tolerant of the few."
      Are the "many" here the MAGAs, and the "few" the GOPe? Or the reverse? Or, ....?

    3. Well, one wishes John Solomon was just bewildered during his interview on the Warroom. One has to question why he would create such a preposterous cover for Raffensperger. bfh.

    4. The many are the general run of GOP officials and the few are those who actively subvert what has become the Trump agenda. For example. In AZ two GOPers voted with the Dems to stop anti-fraud election measures. But will the many make the few/two pay? This is a pattern that you can see repeated in numerous states: GA, MI, WI. The few pay no price.

    5. So maybe you meant "the many need to be *less* tolerant of the few."

    6. No, I meant what I said. It doesn't take many to gum up the works, but it does require tolerance of those few by the many.

    7. Ok, so you meant, that it does require tolerance of those few by the many, for the BS to *continue* unhindered.
      Do you think most of these Many know of this BS, or do many of them not know, because they're afraid to look, or....?