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A tale of the tapeworm: An initiative message

A tale of the tapeworm: An initiative message

For five bucks and an idea, anyone can file an Initiative to the People – and they do.  Most are very serious, while others can be kooky or simply send a message.  We’ve run across one that goes away from the beaten path: It’s a plan to change the prim-and-proper Great Seal of Washington.  As proposed by James Vaughn of Orting,  General George Washington and the year of admission to the union, 1889, would be replaced with, uh, a few subtle changes. In the words…

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Court to decide Jan. 15 whether to take R-71 case

Court to decide Jan. 15 whether to take R-71 case

The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced that it will decide on January 15, 2010, whether to accept or reject the appeal of last fall’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that upheld Washington State’s practice of treating ballot measure petitions as releasable public records. The high court will meet on the 15th to review several cases, voting on each whether to accept or reject. The court likely will announce later that day or the following Monday if it will take…

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WA to high court: Don’t take R-71 petition case

WA to high court: Don’t take R-71 petition case

The Washington Attorney General is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to turn aside a request to block the state from releasing Referendum 71 petitions. On Jan. 8, the high court is expected to consider a request from R-71 opponents to hear their challenge of an appeals court decision that upheld the state’s practice of treating petitions as releasable public records.  We should know shortly thereafter whether the court will take the case.  The earliest it could get on the calendar…

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R-71 Part Deux: Will high court take up disclosure ban?

R-71 Part Deux: Will high court take up disclosure ban?

The continuing court battle by foes of Referendum 71 to shield their petitions from public view stepped up a notch Friday with filing of papers formally outlining the reasons why they want the U.S. Supreme Court to hear their case and uphold a disclosure ban. A 30-second recap: In September, U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle in Tacoma agreed to Protect Marriage Washington’s request to block the Secretary of State from the scheduled release of over 9,000 R-71  petition sheets…

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High court continues ban on releasing R-71 petitions

High court continues ban on releasing R-71 petitions

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to continue blocking, at least temporarily, Washington State from releasing Referendum 71 petitions under the state’s Public Records Act. The high court, ruling in a request by Justice Anthony Kennedy, agreed to keep in place Kennedy’s order that bans release of the documents while appeals are being sought. The court thus suspends the ruling last Thursday by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that the R-71 documents are releasable.  That means that, at least…

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R-71 petitions on hold: Justice Kennedy halts release

R-71 petitions on hold: Justice Kennedy halts release

Justice Anthony Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court has at least temporarily blocked release of petitions in support of putting Referendum 71 on the statewide ballot. Kennedy, in a one-page order, agreed with the request of Protect Marriage Washington to “stay” or freeze, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last Thursday that had cleared the way for releasing the petitions under terms of the state’s broad public disclosure law.  In so doing, Kennedy let stand the order of U.S….

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Friday update for R-71 signature courtwatchers

Friday update for R-71 signature courtwatchers

(UPDATE: This blog was updated 10-16-09 at 4:58 p.m.) Although the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has given the green light for releasing Referendum 71 petition sheets under terms of the state’s Public Records Act, it’s not quite that simple. Both state and federal courts are still involved and it will be at least a few more days until we know if the petitions can be released. The Attorney General’s Office, which is representing the Secretary of State, says: 1….

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Releasing petitions: What’s the deal?

Releasing petitions: What’s the deal?

Katie Blinn, assistant state elections director, wraps up in a new narrative the background history on why the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Attorney General’s Office, treats initiative and referendum petitions as releasable public records. Blinn, an attorney and former legislative committee counsel, traces the litigation in state and federal court and recounts the history of petition sheets that have been released in prior years – and those that await the green light from the courts. Please follow and…

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Federal judges OK release of R-71 petitions

Federal judges OK release of R-71 petitions

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has just lifted the ban on Washington releasing Referendum 71 petitions. A three-judge panel handed a clear victory to the Secretary of State Sam Reed and Attorney General Rob McKenna, who had vigorously argued that the state’s voter-approved Public Records Act requires the state to treat initiative and referendum petition sheets as a releasable public record. The court, in a brief three-page order released from Pasadena, Calif., said it is reversing Tacoma-based U.S. District…

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R-71: Stay tuned for federal court decision on petitions

R-71: Stay tuned for federal court decision on petitions

Should Washington officials be allowed to release Referendum 71 petition sheets? That touchy issue is in the hands of a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Pasadena, Calif., following a hearing this morning. Deputy Solicitor General Bill Collins, who represented the state, reported a very well-prepared panel and a “very lively” discussion of the issues. He said the court has taken the case under advisement without indicating when – or how – they will rule. Since the appeals…

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