Supreme Court Sets Date to Hear Referendum 71 Case

SCOTUS has set a date to hear the Referendum 71 signature case

R71 "The U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled an April 28 hearing on whether Washington state can release more than 138,000 names on petitions supporting a domestic partnership referendum.

Protect Marriage Washington unsuccessfully opposed a new law giving gay couples expanded rights. The group wants to shield petition-signers' names from public release, saying it fears harassment by gay-rights supporters."

Last September, as the campaign was in full swing, U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle temporarily barred state officials from releasing the identities of those who signed the referendum. In October, a federal appeals court reversed Settle's decision, prompting anti-gays to go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Justice Anthony Kennedy then issued a ruling blocking the appeals court decision. The full court later agreed to take on the case.

Referendum 71 was approved by voters on election day, expanding the rights of domestic partners in the state to "everything but marriage". Washington Governor Christine Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified the election in early December and the law went into effect.


  1. bobbyjoe says

    Not hard to predict. 5-4 decision saying the names don’t have to be released. Part of the Scalia-block’s mission is to be election-fraud’s friend and anti-accountability for those with the money and/or power to hide. Why even actually try this case before the USSC (other than maybe the entertainment of a puppet show)? Or why not just be upfront about it with the Red Queen’s method of “decision first/trial afterward”? I’m sure that like so many cases these days, Roberts, Scalia, and their fellow judicial activists have already pre-decided it.

  2. Mike says

    Normally legislators create laws in public view with full disclosure. If people want to use the initiative process to bypass the legislators then they should do so also in full public view. I have a right to know who is responsible for putting something up to a vote. This has nothing to do with “protecting someones privacy or their security”. There are already laws which handle harrassment or injury. This would basically open up the political system to further manipulation and corruption – as if it isn’t bad enough already! The conservatives on the court are a joke. They’ll rule this violates the constitutions right to privacy, and then rule there is no constitutional right to privacy in their next decision.

  3. David says

    That may be, but the names are already exposed somewhat: these signatures are gathered on sheets of paper for all to see. What expectation of privacy do people have under these circumstances? If the decision goes 5-4 the way most of us expect, will signature gatherers have to prevent all other signatures from being exposed when they are gathered in grocers’ parking lots, shopping malls, etc.?

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