Brown v. Socialist Workers '74 Campaign Committee 459 U.S. 87 (1982)
BROWN v. SOCIALIST WORKERS '74 CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE 459 U.S. 87 (1982)
In buckley v. valeo (1976) the Supreme Court refused to recognize a blanket first amendment right of minor political parties to keep their contributors and their disbursements confidential. The Court said, however, that such a right would be recognized in particular cases when parties could show that political privacy was essential to their exercise of First Amendment rights. Brown was such a case. The party had shown a "reasonable probability of threats, harassment, or reprisals" in the event of disclosure. The Court thus held, unanimously, that Ohio could not compel the disclosure of contributions to the party, and held, 6–3, that the same logic protected against compulsory disclosure of the party's expenditures, such as wages or reimbursements paid to party members and supporters.
Kenneth L. Karst