The Illinois legislature recently passed a bill requiring nonprofits based in the state to report the demographic makeup of their board members —but the law may be unconstitutional.

Democratic state Sen. Adriane Johnson introduced Senate Bill 2930, which requires nonprofits that donate over $1,000,000 to charitable organizations to publicly disclose the “race, ethnicity, gender, disability status, veteran status, sexual orientation, and gender identity.” Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker also supports the bill, according to Politico.

“We are taking vital steps to support diversity and inclusion in the nonprofit sector,” Johnson told Politico. “We are creating these spaces where people can show up as their true, unassimilated and authentic selves.”

Yet legal experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the bill is likely unconstitutional.

“This law is a prime example of the fundamental incoherence of leftist identity politics,” America First Legal Senior Vice President Reed D. Rubinstein told the DCNF. “Demanding that only non-profit corporations reporting grants of $1,000,000 or more to other charitable organizations post ‘demographic’ information on their directors and officers is almost certainly illegal and unconstitutional.”

GianCarlo Canaparo, senior legal fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said the bill raised major constitutional concerns.

“First, the state has no legitimate interest in forcing people to disclose this information,” Canaparo told DCNF. “As the Supreme Court recognized in Students for Fair Admissions, the racial and ethnic categories that we so often use in America are arbitrarythey tell you nothing meaningful about the persons they lump together.”

“Second, ​the bill likely violates the free speech or associational rights of organizations who believe that this sort of information is irrelevant and that collecting it is divisive,” Canaparo said. “Third, it likely violates the free speech rights of employees who will be forced to disclose this information even if they object in principle to classifying themselves.”

Canaparo said the underlying motivation for the bill is to enforce liberal ideology.

“Lurking behind the scenes, is the real reason that Illinois wants to do this: It wants liberal activists and lawyers to pressure nonprofits to ‘diversify’ their boards, which will mean explicit race, ethnic, and gender discrimination,” Canaparo told DCNF.

Illinois state Democrats have branded the bill as a measure to highlight “diversity and inclusion of nonprofits,” according to a press release.

“Illinois is extremely diverse and – in requiring this transparency of nonprofits –  we further embrace that diversity,” said Democratic state Sen. Adriane Johnson in the press release. “This sets a positive example for other organizations, and hopefully encourages broader progress in the future.”

Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a similar, Senate Bill 54, into law in October 2023. Also known as the Fair Investment Practices by Investment Advisers law, the bill requires venture capital companies to disclose “specified demographic information for the founding teams,” including their race, sexuality and gender.

“This bill resonates deeply with my commitment to advance equity and provide for greater economic empowerment of historically underrepresented communities” Newsom wrote in a press release.

Johnson and Pritzker did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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