Supreme Court rules signatures are Public!

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by Luissa, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. Luissa
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    Luissa Annoying Customer Supporting Member

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    Local News | Ref. 71 signatures are public, Supreme Court rules | Seattle Times Newspaper

    The high court ruled Thursday in an 8-1 decision, with Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting, that disclosing the identities of petition-signers does not, generally, violate the First Amendment.

    But the justices also said their decision "does not foreclose success" should Ref. 71 sponsors decide to pursue an exemption in a lower court — which the sponsors said they will do.

    Those who want to keep Ref. 71 signers' names confidential now will have to prove in U.S. District Court that there is "reasonable probability" that disclosing the names will lead to threats, harassment and reprisals.

    That's "a high standard to meet, and they just don't have the evidence to meet it," contended Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, who argued the case on behalf of the state in April.
     
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  2. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    What's next, no more anonymous donations, especially to political campaigns and causes?
     
  3. my2¢
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    my2¢ So it goes. Supporting Member

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    For sake of helping insure legitimacy of petition signatures, I'm glad the court ruled that these signatures are public.
     
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  4. Wry Catcher
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    Wry Catcher Platinum Member

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    Good call. People should have the balls to stand up and be counted for their convictions. Of course chicken hawks and other cowards who would take away the right of happiness to others understand that being petty is not a virtue; hence they ask a court to protect them from the possible consequences that being publicly branded a selfish asshole may cause. Being called a selfish asshole by ones neighbors when one is a selfish assholes seems just, and calling petty selfish assholes petty selfish assholes is a right protected by the Constitution.
     
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    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  5. martybegan
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    martybegan Platinum Member

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    I think the path the court took was that because the petition leads to a refarendum which is techincally legislation. Legislators do not have the benefit of an austrialian ballot.

    I would think that a petition soley to display an opinion on a given subject, and to say we have X amount of signatures would not be covered by this.

    Lots of legalese in these opinions, and I'm an Engineer, and not a lawyer, but I want to read them and try to get the gist of them. Consitutional law is pretty facisnating to me.

    Going to the harrsment angle, What is the purpose of the people wanting to publicise the names? I'm sure shaming them is part of the reason, and isn't that a form of harrasment?

    The people wanting to stop the release of the names lost the slam dunk case. I have a feeling they may still win on the harrasment angle. hell, I will bet a few posts in this thread will attack the people who signed the petition. Whats to stop an attorney for the side wanting to stop publication to reference internet postings and an example of potential harm and harassment?
     
  6. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    So this should end anonymous political donations too, right?
     
  7. rightwinger
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    rightwinger Award Winning USMB Paid Messageboard Poster Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    By signing a petition, you are publicly and officially providing your support. How can a petition be anonymous?
     
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  8. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    Sigh.

    You didn't read the case or the decision.

    The State had access to the petition, the issue was public disclosure.

    I would be upset, but I've yet to met a Progressive/Liberal/Tool would read an attachement even when they attach the article themselves
     
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  9. Gatekeeper
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    Gatekeeper Senior Member

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    I do not see where it says Signatures, it says the Identities of the signers. I must be missing something.
    Petitions, I thought, we're always public knowledge along with those who signed them, not necessarily the actual signature but the name merely spelled out
     
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  10. Sarah G
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    Sarah G When Nothing Goes Right, Go Left Supporting Member

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    Donations to candidates may no longer be anonymous with the new rollback of campaign finance restrictions. I want the light to shine on all of that.
     

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