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January 07, 2016

Court Rules Calif. Can Seek Koch-Backed Group's Donor List

A federal appeals court has backed California Attorney General Kamala Harris's bid to access information about donors to a conservative nonprofit started by billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, Bloomberg reports. The unanimous decision last week by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned a lower-court ruling last year that blocked the disclosure pending a trial in the case.

The Americans for Prosperity Foundation sued the attorney general in December 2014 after she ordered it to submit the names and addresses of $5,000-plus donors. Nonprofits are required to provide such information to the Internal Revenue Service, and Ms. Harris said her office would not release the material publicly. The Ninth Circuit judges said the order was in keeping with the attorney general's oversight of nonprofits and rejected the foundation's argument that confidential disclosure would have a chilling effect on contributors and expose them to harassment.