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Supreme Court Blocks Release of Signatures
Washington's referendum signature story that we talked about last month has taken a pretty high-level twist.
At issue was whether or not the Secretary of State can release the names of people who signed a petition to refer Washington's "Everything But Marriage" law to the ballot. The referral was successful — voters will take on on the domestic partnership law in November — but the side fight right now hinges on whether petition signature sheets are public records.
The Secretary of State said he had to release the names. A Federal district court judge said, basically, no you don't. (That's when we did our show.) Then came the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, who said: release the names. Finally, yesterday, the Supreme Court weighed in and voted 8-1 to withhold the names of those who signed the petition, at least for now. Here's their decision (pdf).
It seems likely that the names won't be released before the upcoming November 3rd referendum.