Friday, June 25, 2010

Petitions are public political acts

In the midst of a series of decisions made by the handmaidens of the corporate oligarchy (otherwise known as the U.S. Supreme Court) that gut what little protection the people have in this country, I find myself actually in agreement with one of their decisions. Which scares me. In Doe v. Reed the court said that the first amendment doesn't guarantee secrecy for people who sign petitions to put referendums on state ballots. This seems blatantly obvious to me. Secretly signing a petition seems like a contradiction in terms. Signing a petitions whatever it is for is essentially a public political act. If you don't want to be associated with a cause or a candidate don't sign the petition. The decision was 9-1 (Clarence Thomas the only dissenter). Several of the homophobes on the court had a difficult time agreeing with the majority. According to the NYT, "Scalito" (Samuel Alito)
whose distaste for disclosure of the particular names at issue in the case was evident at the argument of the case in April, ... argu[ed] that a narrower challenge should succeed.
The reason for his distaste in this case was that it was brought by people who signed the petition that intended to deny gay men and lesbians equal rights by opposing a state domestic partnership law.

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