Federal judge grants signature privacy TRO

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July 30, 2009


TACOMA, Washington: Federal judge Benjamin Settle issued a temporary restraining order on July 29, 2009 to halt the public release of a list of those who signed the Referendum 71 petition in Washington. Referendum 71 is an attempt to overturn Washington's new "everything but marriage" domestic partnership law.[1]

The request for the temporary restraining order came from Protect Marriage Washington based on their knowledge that WhoSigned.Org is planning to put on the internet the names of those who signed the petition, if the names of the signatures are made publicly available.[2]

Supporters of R-71 said in their TRO request that releasing the identity of petition signers might put those signers at risk of harassment, leading to a situation where their First Amendment rights are chilled.

A hearing on whether to make the TRO permanent will take place on September 3, 2009.[3]

See also

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*Washington Referendum 71 (2009)