Supreme Court on R-71

 

Supreme Court on R-71: Names on petitions can be made public
Public disclosure case attracted national attention

By CHRIS GRYGIEL
SEATTLEPI.COM STAFF

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the names of people who signed petitions in an attempt to overturn a new gay rights law in Washington could be made public, a victory for state officials who said the case was a test of open government laws.

Justices ruled 8-1 in a case called Doe V. Reed. Only Justice Clarence Thomas dissented. They heard oral arguments in Washington, D.C., April 28.

The ruling dealt broadly with claims by foes of the new gay rights law that disclosing their names would violate their First Amendment rights. However the justices said the plaintiffs could go back to a lower court to try to get a specific exemption on other grounds - and the chief lawyer for people who signed the Referendum 71 petitions said he would do so.

Washington state officials praised the decision.

Read more here