Supreme Court found release of petition names constitutional

On June 24, 2010, the US Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in Doe No. 1 v. Reed that the First Amendment does not bar a state from releasing identifying information about petitioner signers where there is a sufficiently compelling state interest. The case arose over an order to publish the names of those who signed a Washington state petition to overturn a state law giving same-sex partners the same rights as married partners. The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit had ruled that the names should be released, but the Supreme Court issued a temporary stay. Chief Justice John Roberts, delivering the opinion of the court, affirmed the Ninth Circuit's ruling. The court held that preserving the integrity of the state electoral process was a compelling interest justifying the limitations placed on speech by the release of the names. Justice Clarence Thomas wrote a lone dissent arguing that release of the information would stifle speech and discourage participation in state's referendum process.



Learn more about the First Amendment and same-sex marriage from the JURIST news archive.

 

About This Day at Law

This Day at Law is JURIST's platform for legal history, highlighting interseting and important developments that shaped the law and the world.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.