Initiative & Referendum Institute v. Costco

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Initiative & Referendum Institute v. Costco was filed in 1998 in a California state district court. The lawsuit, filed by the Initiative & Referendum Institute, sought to require Costco stores to allow petition circulators to collect signatures on Costco property. The case was decided in favor of Costco.

Aftermath of the decision

Bill Arno of Arno Professional Consulting in an interview in 2004 described the impact of this and other decisions thusly:

Access to the public is a growing problem. The town square of yesterday is now the parking lots of big box retailers, malls and grocery stores, who oppose the presence of petition circulators. These retailers have been litigating the issues of free speech on their private properties for years, and in the past few years have made headway. Big box retailers like Costco and Wal-Mart have been able to totally eliminate speech activities on their properties via the courts.[1]