U.S. Supreme Court Reinstates Temporary Ban on Releasing Names on Petitions by Vote of 8-1

On the afternoon of October 20, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 8-1 to forbid the Secretary of State of Washington from releasing the names and addresses of people who signed the R-71 Referendum petition. The dissenter is Justice John Paul Stevens. Here is the order.

The Court’s order says that the ban will remain in effect until the lower courts have finished deciding whether the Constitution requires that such petitions be kept private. Then, if the losing side asks the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the constitutional case, and the Court denies cert, then at that point (assuming the state has won) the ban would be automatically terminated. But, if the U.S. Supreme Court at that point decides to accept the case for full review, the ban would remain in effect until after the U.S. Supreme Court had issued its full opinion. Of course, if at that point the state had lost, the ban would also continue to remain, obviously. Thanks to ElectionLawBlog for this news.

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