On February 23, three Oregon groups filed an amicus curiae brief in Doe v Reed, the case that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear on April 28. The issue is whether petition signatures should be private. The amicus was filed by Common Sense for Oregon, The Oregon Anti-Crime Alliance, and Oregonians in Action.
The amici brief says that petition signers are not private in Oregon, and gives concrete example of how some Oregon petitions have been so controversial that signers were harassed. The brief gives details about a petition to recall three city councilmembers in West Linn, Oregon. Emotions ran so high, some signers later asked that their names be blacked out, before the petition had been submitted, because they were afraid to let it be known that they had signed the recall. Proponents of the recall received late-night threatening phone calls. Finally, even though they believed they had enough valid signatures, they chose not to submit them. The amicus also describes incidents from the Nader independent petition in Oregon in 2004, when signers received vaguely intimidating letters from a law firm, saying that the voter’s name had appeared on the Nader petition, asserting that the Nader petition had many fraudulent signatures, and asking the voter if he or she had really signed the petition.