Home > Election, SCOTUS > SCOTUS says you can’t hide your name on petitions

SCOTUS says you can’t hide your name on petitions

I agree with this ruling eventhough I know people will continue to do bad things with it.

People who sign petitions calling for public votes on controversial subjects don’t have an automatic right to hide their names, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday as it sided against Washington state voters worried about harassment because of their desire to repeal that state’s gay rights law.

Petition signers wanted to hide their names because of worries of intimidation. But the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco refused to keep their names secret. The Supreme Court stepped in and temporarily blocked release of the names until the high court could make a decision.

The court now says disclosing names on a petition for a public referendum does not chill the signer’s freedom of speech enough to warrant overturning the state’s disclosure law.

People need to be acountable for their actions. If you sign a petition, you need to have you balls on the line too. While I know the Left will continue to harass people they don’t agree with (what else is new), it works both ways. You can hold the Left accountable as well. The next time they hold a petition to save a tree rather than save a life, hold their feet to the fire.

“Public disclosure thus helps ensure that the only signatures counted are those that should be, and that the only referenda placed on the ballot are those that garner enough valid signatures,” Roberts said. “Public disclosure also promotes transparency and accountability in the electoral process toan extent other measures cannot.”

That said, I still see the other side of the arguement. That petitions are a part of the voting process, and votes are done in secret. What do you think?

Categories: Election, SCOTUS
  1. yttik
    June 25, 2010 at 09:58

    This was a difficult decision and I’m not sure how I feel about it. There’s another case, where the police raided a medical marijuana place and confiscated all their petitions for legalizing pot. They were refusing to release them because they were evidence and tools for the investigation. Well needless to say, people are afraid of legal retaliation because their names and addresses are on the petitions. Is that probable cause to start investigating somebody? I don’t think so. Can you seize a petition that’s going to be turned in to try and get a vote on the ballot or are you interfering with a group’s right to practice democracy? Again, I don’t think so.

    The names on the anti civil union petition is a bit more clear. It seems to me that people are afraid of harassment and retaliation from their fellow citizens, but those are crimes. You can’t really claim the right to pre-emptively protect yourself from a crime that hasn’t happened yet, may never happen at all. You don’t get to hide behind anonymity when it comes to the democratic process. If we started that, then the votes of our congressmen could be kept secret. There has to be some transparency in the whole process.

  2. yttik
    June 27, 2010 at 20:02

    That’s horrible!

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