In case you didn't already know, Judge Benjamin Settle was a Bush* appointment that received only a 'qualified' rating from the ABA, vs the highest rating of 'well qualified' or the lowest of 'not qualified.' Quelle surprise...
State appeals decision blocking release of R-71 signers
Secretary of State Sam Reed on Monday formally appealed a federal judge's ruling that blocks the release of names of people who signed Referendum 71.
In its filing (Emergency_Motion_(09-14-09).pdf">PDF) to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the state argues that Judge Benjamin Settle's ruling Thursday that people who sign referendums or initiatives have the First Amendment right to engage in anonymous political speech is fundamentally flawed. R-71, which will be on the November ballot, seeks to overturn the state's new "everything but marriage" same-sex domestic partner law.
"As a petition signer, a citizen acts in a governmental capacity, joining with others to propose legislation for consideration by the electorate. The signer's act is inherently public," the appeal says. "There is no basis for extending the narrow First Amendment exemption developed in the case law, protecting the disclosure of the names of the members of organizations engaged in private activity, to the context of the public activity of signing a referendum petition to invoke a public legislative process."
Gay rights activists want to post the names of people who signed R-71 online, encouraging supporters of same-sex unions to discuss the issue with people they know.
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