July 19, 2010
On June 24, 2010, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Doe v. Reed. In this case, the Court was asked whether compelled disclosure of signatory information on a referendum petition violated the First Amendment.
In an 8-1 opinion delivered by Chief Justice Roberts, the Court held that although petition-signatories may have a right to nondisclosure in particular cases, they do not have a general constitutional right to nondisclosure. The Court declined to answer whether, in this particular referendum on expanding the rights and responsibilities of state-registered domestic partners, including same-sex partners, the signatories' interest in avoiding persecution outweighed the state's interest in promoting transparency, and assigned this task to a lower court.
To discuss the case, we have the Capital University Law School Josiah H. Blackmore II and Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law Bradley A. Smith.