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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 15, 2009
Ninth Circuit grants stay Ref. 71 public records case

OLYMPIA… The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals today reversed and granted an immediate stay of a lower court’s preliminary injunction blocking the release of Referendum 71 petitions containing the names and addresses of those who signed the measure.

The underlying case challenges the state’s public records law as an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment.

The stay does not result in the immediate release of the petitions. The Attorney General’s Office will now file an emergency motion in Thurston County Superior Court asking Judge Richard Hicks to clarify that the temporary restraining order he issued yesterday in Eyman v. Reed does not apply to the Referendum 71 petitions. The state will request the court lift the temporary restraining order because it was largely dependent on the Ninth Circuit’s ruling.

Referendum 71 gives voters the opportunity to approve or reject a bill approved by the state Legislature granting state-registered same-sex and senior domestic partners the same rights, responsibilities and obligations afforded to married spouses without recognizing a domestic partnership as a marriage.

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Contacts:
Janelle Guthrie, AGO Communications Director, (360) 586-0725

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