Seattle's News Elixir

The Washington Secretary of State's office has already released a batch of the 137,000 names of people who signed petitions putting Ref. 71, a measure that would have repealed domestic-partner rights. The group that sponsored the measure, Protect Marriage Washington, filed an emergency motion with the 9th Circuit today to halt any further release of petitions.

The Secretary of State says he has already released "30 sets" of petitions with two more sets in the queue; Tacoma Federal District Court Judge Benjamin Settle ruled on Monday that the names had to be made public under the state's open records law.

Republican Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna is preparing a brief in response to the motion. McKenna defended the release of the names in the US Supreme Court and won, but the case went back to District Court in Tacoma because PMW sought a specific exemption.

PMW and its attorney James Bopp, a legal adviser on the Citizens United case to help shield the names of campaign contributors and longtime counsel  for the right wing Focus on the Family,  have until the end of the day to respond to McKenna's brief.

The State is holding off on releasing any more names for now.
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