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Supreme Court agrees to hear R-71 signature privacy case

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January 16, 2010

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WASHINGTON, DC: The United States Supreme Court announced on January 15, 2010 that they will take up the Referendum 71 signature privacy case.[1][2] Initially, Protect Marriage Washington, a group in favor of placing the referendum on the ballot and opponent of the measure, requested a temporary restraining order to halt the public release of a list of those who signed the R-71 petition in July 2009. The United States Supreme Court ruled on October 20, 2009 to uphold the ban on releasing petition signatures.[3]

Washington Families Standing Together had urged the country's high court not to take the case, while Protect Marriage Washington sought the court's consideration of the case.[3] James Bopp is representing the side of signature privacy. He argues that what is at stake in the case is the First Amendment rights of voters to sign petitions in privacy.[4][5]

The SCOTUS decision came four days after the high court blocked television cameras in the Proposition 8 courtroom, as the federal trial proceeds in that case.

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