9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals orders release of R-71 petitions
By Jason Mercier
Special to the PostGlobe
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled for Secretary of State Sam Reed in the dispute over whether to release the R-71 petitions in response to a public records request. Here is the court’s order:
The court, after consideration of the record and briefs of the parties, and oral argument, has determined that the district court’s Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction (the “Preliminary Injunction Order”), filed September 10, 2009, relies on an incorrect legal standard and, therefore, must be reversed.
It is therefore ordered:
1. Appellants’ motion for a stay pending appeal is granted and the Preliminary Injunction Order is hereby stayed, effective immediately, pending final resolution of these appeals.
2. An opinion setting forth the reasons for the court’s reversal of the Preliminary Injunction Order shall be issued expeditiously and in due course.
This decision should mean there will be quick resolution to yesterday’s ruling in Thurston County Superior Court granting a temporary restraining order against Sam Reed concerning compliance with a public records request for copies of past initiative petitions.
Jason Mercier is the director of the Center for Government Reform at the Washington Policy Center. He serves on the executive committee of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force and is a contributing editor of the Heartland Institute’s Budget & Tax News. Mercier also serves as treasurer on the board of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and was an adviser to the 2002 Washington State Tax Structure Committee.