Supreme Court Blocks Washington State Officials From Disclosing Names of Anti-Same-Sex-Marriage Petition Signers,

with one Justice dissenting. So reports SCOTUSblog; I’ll post more when I learn more.

My post about Justice Kennedy’s similar action yesterday is here. For now, I continue to think that the Ninth Circuit’s decision overturning the district court’s preliminary injunction against release of the signatories’ names — and thus allowing the state to release the names — is correct, and I think the Supreme Court won’t even agree to reconsider the decision on the merits. But it makes sense that the Court 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 Rick Hasen (Election Law Blog) for the pointer.

UPDATE: Justice Stevens was the one dissenter, but he didn’t issue a written opinion explaining his vote (and neither did the majority). The order says,

The September 10, 2009 order of the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, case No. C09-5456BHS, granting the motion for preliminary injunction shall remain in effect pending the timely filing and disposition of a petition for a writ of certiorari. Should the petition for a writ of certiorari be denied, this stay shall terminate automatically. In the event the petition for a writ of certiorari is granted, the stay shall terminate upon the sending down of the judgment of this Court.

That makes sense, for the reasons I mentioned above — in order for the Court to even be able to consider the petition for certiorari, the names can’t be released, since their release would make the matter moot. But I still think that the Court won’t grant certiorari, for reasons I mentioned earlier.

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