Referencing the Court’s earlier action this week in prohibiting broadcast of the Proposition 8 Perry v. Schwarzenegger trial, SCOTUSblog’s Lyle Denniston writes, “The Court’s vote to hear the case . . . marked the second time this week that the Court opted to act on controversies involving opponents of gay rights’ claims that publicity about their political activity has led to threats and even some violence against them.”
Election Law Blog’s always excellent Rick Hasen predicted this in a post on Thursday:
Doe v. Reed has made the “Petitions to Watch” list at SCOTUSblog and for good reason. The Court already got involved in this case at an earlier stage, imposing a stay pending a decision on the cert request. That already suggests the Court is taking the question seriously.
But here’s another compelling reason: the case, like Citizens United and the Prop. 8 trial case, fits into the meme of conservatives facing harassment for their views (sometimes even if their views represent the views of a (slim) majority of the population!).
On the issue presented, from SCOTUSblog:
Title: John Doe #1 v. Reed
Issues: (1) Whether the First Amendment right to privacy in political speech, association, and belief requires strict scrutiny when a state compels public release of identifying information about petition signers; and (2) whether compelled public disclosure of identifying information about petition signers is narrowly tailored to a compelling interest.
I have made available the Ninth Circuit opinion being appealed here (pdf).
The Volokh Conspiracy’s Eugene Volokh has written extensively about this case.
More to come …
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