The US Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta and Guam v. United States.
In Americans for Prosperity Foundation v. Bonta, the plaintiffs, two conservative nonprofits, are “challenging the constitutionality of California’s requirement that charities and nonprofits operating in the state provide the state attorney general’s office with the names and addresses of their largest donors.” The state insists that the rule helps fight charitable fraud. The plaintiffs allege the rule violates their First Amendment rights.
The justices did raise concerns that a broad ruling could negate some campaign finance disclosure laws. Given that a majority of the justices appeared to disapprove of California’s law, this could mean that the ruling may be narrowly tailored to this situation. It could also make an exception for non-profits that have any involvement in political campaigns.
In Guam v. United States, Guam insists that they have not run out of time to seek help from the US Navy in cleaning up the Ordot Dump. The case hinges on whether a 2004 settlement under the Clean Water Act (CWA) bars Guam from seeking contributions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA). The federal government insists the settlement falls under CERCLA. The Ordot Dump was created by the US Navy in the 1940s, and used to dispose of chemical waste and munitions. This continued until the 1970s. Guam took responsibility for the dump in 1950.