This morning, the Thurston County Superior Court lifted a restraining order against releasing petitions for 11 initiatives. Petitions for R-71, the anti-gay rights measure, was not part of the ruling.

Eyman, the author of most of the initiatives involved in today's ruling (such as I-960, a set of restrictions on tax increases, and I-1033, which attempted to cap property taxes), sued the state in last October to block release. Eyman argued, much like the backers of R-71, that the petitions had to remain sealed in order to protect signers' First Amendment rights and prevent other groups from obtaining their information for political or commercial purposes.

The decision to release those petitions comes on the heels of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld the state's Public Records Act in the R-71 case. (Those signatures are still under lock and key, however, because the Supreme Court ruling allowed for specific challenges to its broader public disclosure ruling. The case  is currently being fast-tracked through the U.S. District Court after Judge Benjamin Settle ordered the records to remain sealed last month.)

But Dave Ammons, communications director for the Secretary of State, said the ruling would have no effect on the R-71 case.

In lifting the current restraining order on the batch of Eyman initiatives, Judge Richard Hicks did not dismiss Eyman's lawsuit. Eyman said in a press release that he "look[s] forward to making our case in court in early 2011."
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