I can’t find the order online yet, but the AP so reports:
Kennedy’s ruling today temporarily blocks a federal appeals court ruling last week that ordered the release of the names. Kennedy said his order would remain in effect while he considers a request by a pro-marriage group that asked him to reverse the appeals court ruling.
The case involves Referendum 71, a ballot initiative that asks Washington voters to approve or reject the state’s so-called “everything but marriage” law, which grants registered domestic partners the same legal rights as married heterosexuals.
As I mentioned early this morning, I think that the Ninth Circuit’s decision overturning the district court’s preliminary injunction — and thus allowing the state to release the names of the signatories — is correct, and I think the Supreme Court won’t even agree to reconsider the decision on the merits. But it makes sense that Justice Kennedy would temporarily stay the opinion below, at least pending the state’s filing its arguments and possibly pending the Court’s considering the petition for certiorari (which in turn won’t come until after the Ninth Circuit announces its reasoning): Once the names are released, the attempt to enjoin the release will become moot, so it makes sense to take some time now to consider the matter on the merits.
Thanks to Richard Winger’s Ballot Access News blog for the pointer.