Protect Families Washington is suing the state to prevent the publication of the names of people who signed the Referendum 71 petition, which would overturn the state’s brand-new domestic partners law. Washington’s secretary of state says the request will be heard in court, but that the haters shouldn’t hold their breath.
U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle is hearing the request for a temporary restraining order at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday in Tacoma. The state will not resist the request, pending a full hearing on the merits of the case. Nick Handy, state elections director, said Wednesday, “Referendum petitions become public records under the law once they have been turned over to us by sponsors. Our consistent practice has been to make these available upon public request. By early next week we will be in a position to make these available, and absent a court order, our intent has been to respond to public records requests in a timely way.”
State officials are in the process of verifying the 135,000 signatures submitted. There is a good chance that enough of them will be judged invalid and the referendum drive will fail. In either case, the names should be made public, of course.
(Via Dominic Holden @ Slog)