“The First Amendment does not protect you from criticism or even nasty phone calls” said Justice Scalia in questioning a lawyer representing Referendum 71 petition-signers who want to remain anonymous.
The attorney for the petitioners, James Bopp, Jr. argued that signing the referendum petition, which seeks to repeal Washington’s “everything but marriage” domestic partners rights law, is an exercise of free speech protected by the First Amendment. “No person should suffer harassment from participating in our political process,” Bopp said.
Washington state’s position is that signing a referendum petition is a legislative act. “The petitions for a referendum or an initiative are telling the government to do something” argued Washington’s Attorney General Robert McKenna.
The case is Doe #1 v. Reed.