Thursday, April 29, 2010

Arguments in the Doe case

I've told you before about the case from Washington State, Doe v Reed, where the Forces of Evil claim that if the law is followed, and the state reveals the names of people who signed petitions against domestic partnerships, then bands of marauding homosexuals will savagely attack the signers./

Indeed, as Pam's House Blend reports, the bad guys actually accuse the state AG of KNOWING that violence will occur!
[Attorney General Sam Reed] is willing to allow access to petitions knowing that they will be used to harass and intimidate individual citizens
What evidence do they have that he KNOWS any such thing?

Fortunately, SCOTUS may not have lost its mind in this matter. the AP reports a certain skepticism:

Supreme Court justices appeared skeptical Wednesday about keeping secret the names of people who signed a petition to repeal Washington state's gay rights law, suggesting citizens cannot always hide behind anonymity if they want to be heard.

Opponents of gay rights want the court to keep the names private to avoid intimidation by the other side. But several justices questioned whether allowing petitioners to stay anonymous might imperil other vital open records like voter registration and lists of donors to political candidates.

"The fact is that running a democracy takes a certain amount of civic courage," Justice Antonin Scalia said. "And the First Amendment does not protect you from criticism or even nasty phone calls when you exercise your political rights to legislate, or to take part in the legislative process."
Unfortunately, Justice Roberts (and probably Justice Thomas) may synpathize with secrecy.
Chief Justice John Roberts compared signing a petition to voting, saying a person's vote might be chilled if it was revealed which candidate they voted for. McKenna argued that chill would be no more significant than it is for having campaign contributions or voter registration disclosed.
Look, NOTHING serious happened in CA: everyone's names were public. Oh, sure, the Bad Guys claim awful things, but there is relatively little evidence that most of it happened. There were some scuffles, but the Pro-H8 side were just as likely to be perps as victims. I was spit at, cursed, and my car had paint thrown on it. But they claim THEY are the only victims. They just want the right to hide behind their sheets.

I've written a lot about this, and I refer you to a previous post here:
The opponents of marriage equality (AND civil unions) are claiming the mantle of honor for themselves, and as they strip the rights away from a persecuted GLBT community, they have the utter audacity to compare themselves to freedom marchers in the Civil Rights movement.

It is gob-smacking: those hiding under the hoods are pretending to be forces for justice. And it is even more outrageous if the courts let them get away with it.

Update Dahlia Lithwick at Slate has more quotes from the arguments.

1 comment:

Paul (A.) said...

Will Roberts et al. allow the corporations that they licensed to buy elections now do so anonymously as well?