Supreme Court rules petition signatures public

Well, this makes sense. If you sign a public petition, what’s the sense in demanding that your name be kept private?

Basically the court said that the states had to look on this on a case by case basis to see if rights were violated.

"The names and addresses of those who sign ballot-measure petitions, such as Referendum 71, can be made public, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in a decision that upholds the constitutionality of Washington state’s Public Records Act.

But that doesn’t mean copies of the Ref. 71 petitions will be immediately available. A lower court will now take up the question of whether those petitions can be disclosed at all, since those who want to keep petition signers’ names secret plan to pursue an exemption from disclosure in their case only.

In an 8-1 decision, with Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting, the Supreme Court ruled that disclosing the identities of ballot-measure petition signers does not, generally, violate the First Amendment."

Legal wonks can read the entire decision here:

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