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Supreme Court to decide whether to release petitioner names

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  1. Libel and Privacy
The Supreme Court on Friday said it would decide whether Washington state officials can release the names of people who…

The Supreme Court on Friday said it would decide whether Washington state officials can release the names of people who signed a petition to overturn a state law that allows same-sex domestic partnerships, The Washington Post reported.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Pasadena (9th Cir.) ruled in Doe v. Reed last fall that the names of 138,500 petitioners could be released under existing public-records laws. The Supreme Court blocked the release of the names until it decided whether or not it would hear the appeal.

The Supreme Court decided last week that a similar case in California could not be broadcast outside of a San Francisco courthouse. Lawyers in both cases have argued that identifying witnesses and petitioners could subject them to harassment.

Arguments in Doe v. Reed will be heard before the court’s term ends in April.