Federal judge grants signature privacy TRO
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.
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.
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.
- Ballot Access News, "Referendum Proponents Ask Federal Court to Protect Secrecy of Petition Signers," July 29, 2009
- Seattle Times, "Judge halts release of Wash. referendum signatures," July 29, 2009
- National Review Online, "Washington State Judge Allows Petition Signers to Maintain Privacy for Now," July 30, 2009 (timed out)