This is great. I just wanted to say that, because this isn't going to attract the howling zoo of shit-flinging monkeys that fill the other Slog posts (no pitbulls, no gays except by implication, no bicycles), but it's substantial, well-written, and important. So, yeah. Thanks!
"'This is exactly how governments who want to control the people [act].'"

By being transparent? What???
Man, you know you're presenting a poor argument when the transcript is peppered with (Laughter).
>and comparing it to the plight of Africa-Americans who were threatened by the Ku Klux Klan in the early 20th century

I think he mixed up his subjects. In the current case, it's the KKK members who want to continue to create hate policy without their names getting attached to it.
Agree with @1. I have to say, I haven't followed this case all too closely, but I find the voting analogy Scalia made to be interesting. So, our votes used to be public, but we switched to private ballots (among other changes) in the late 1800s (by the way, if you are an elections history nerd, this is a pretty interesting article about those changes). So, why wouldn't signing a ballot be considered the same as a "vote"? Why do we have a right to privacy with the vote but not with signing a petition that affects our laws? Why does signing a petition require "civic courage" but not voting? Is this the line of argument that the anti-transparency side is taking?
Technically, our state has a right to privacy that's stronger than federal inferred rights to privacy, but constitutionally, the right to privacy at the federal level was invented. Ours is actually in our constitution.
"Justice Clarence Thomas remained silent throughout the case, which is typical. He hasn’t asked a question at an oral argument since 2006."

How is this possible?!?!?!?

(great reporting btw)

It's also unlike those cases in that blacks fighting for their civil rights never asked for anonymity. In fact, they did everything they could to get their personal voices out into the public domain. They knew threats were a possibility and fought openly despite them.
"The campaign manager of this initiative had his family sleep in his living room because of the threats."

Maybe it was because of "threats." Or maybe it was just because he's a paranoid crazy person.

Also, pretty bizarre that he would even venture to bring up the Klu Klux Klan. I seem to recall something about wearing white hoods to keep their identities secret.
@ 5, I think the circumstances matter. If the switch from public to private balloting took place in the late 1800s (specifically during Reconstruction), then it was because some voters (blacks) were actually and truly being targeted for violence. So far, nothing like that has occurred nor is there any reason to believe it will. After all, Prop 8 proponents didn't suffer large-scale violence.
All I know about Justice Clarence Thomas is that if he offers you a glass of Coke, don't drink it.
I hate pinning my hopes on Scalia.

Based on my, admittedly somewhat limited, following of the supreme court, oral arguments often involve laughter, usually from one of the justices using hyperbole or humor to make a point or knock down an argument.
"Justice Clarence Thomas remained silent throughout the case, which is typical. He hasn’t asked a question at an oral argument since 2006."

jake perhaps next time you should poke thomas and get proof of life.
"Justice Clarence Thomas remained silent throughout the case, which is typical. He hasn’t asked a question at an oral argument since 2006."

jake, next time poke thomas and get proof of life.

good work. for once.
I used to (and to some extent, still do) think Clarence Thomas a fool for never asking questions. But you know, I do appreciate 4 years of stubborness. I hope he goes 20 yrs without asking questions, I like that dedication.
Amazing, that these hatemongers wish to impose their beliefs on others, and to do so in secret! Had these same champions of democracy legislated the banning of these same rights for African or, native Americans, no one would question the legitimacy of these same people, as we would then know they are insane haters that they are. No one would give them any mercy, as they should not! They are the new clan, self righteous, and trying to hide their faces behind a white veil of paper, called the Constitution.

Sing it with me all: "Land of the free....................................."
Not only does Clarence Thomas not ask questions, but he's recently criticized his peers for asking questions!

"Clarence Thomas To Other Supreme Court Justices: Be Quiet"…
I have a tiny amount of respect for CT's refusal to ask questions. Sometimes the justices get so off-track with ridiculous hypotheticals that his silence is a welcome change of pace.

That said, I hate CT in every other regard.

Also: "tenant"!?
Good reporting, BUT...

It's 'tenet'. 'central tenet', *not* 'central tenant'.

Oh, and don't put too much stock in the laughter. That's just Scalia.
After the first Scalia quotation, I believe you mean "tenet" and not "tenant."

Unless someone is paying rent to live in Rob McKenna's argument, of course, which would be...I don't know...kinda creepy?
@21-- Beat me to it!

And thank you.
Oh silly Supremes! Don't they know that we in the US no longer debate issues? Don't they know they are supposed to rule in lock step with the dogma of their assigned ideological affiliation? How quaint.
I think a central tenant is someone renting from somebody on Capitol Hill.

According to Victoria Tennant.
Really, it's not that surprising that Scalia came down on the side of the state. He's a total fuckwad on many issues, but he's pretty solid on issues such as transparency in government. And if i read one more case where he goes on and on and on about the found of our nation, i'm going to put a nail through my head.
"He warned that if the court ruled against him, every political consultant would make intimidation and harassment a part of their strategy in future initiative and referendum battles."

A door which was opened by Bopp's employers when they started telling lies about harassment and then backed it up with a Supreme Court case. They have no one to blame but themselves if this prediction comes true.
It makes me feel dirty that I agree with Scalia's point of view.
"every political consultant would make intimidation and harassment a part of their strategy"

Consultants would start to promote illegal and criminal activity? What?

But your point @28 is valid: lying that intimidation is being done by the other side is clearly a strategy. Although there *is* the reputation-tarnish problem of crying wolf all the time.
I think it was the KKK that hid their identity behind the robes and hoods. Scalia has a vitriolic tongue, but does have a sharp mind on the constitution and legal history. [Maybe he should step down to spend full time writing a book or two ! :) ]

I hope Scalia sticks to his guns on his prediction in his Lawrence v. Texas dissent that that ruling would make it impossible to prohibit gay marriage! Just wait until Perry v. Schwarzenegger (Prop 8) hits the court, he'll sing a different tune.
Scalia is my second favorite right-leaning Justice (after Kennedy). Like Kennedy, Scalia has sided with the left in several cases involving the First Amendment, the use of foreign military tribunals, and the Fourth Amendment. Although Scalia is a very strong proponent of privacy rights at home, etc., he recognizes that people should forfeit those protections when they attempt to change public laws.

Although a pro-disclosure ruling in this case could significantly affect the future of Washington State initiatives, it is unclear that the ruling would benefit liberals over conservatives. For example, a pro-disclosure ruling in this case might make it harder for activists to find signatures for the Washington State marijuana legalization initiative, which is trying to make it on the ballot later this year.
Clarence Thomas sounds like a wise man to me. Seems to me that one learns much more by listening than speaking.

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