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Law

Faculty Publications

2013

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Petitions, Privacy, And Political Obscurity, Rebecca Green Jan 2013

Petitions, Privacy, And Political Obscurity, Rebecca Green

Faculty Publications

People who sign petitions must accept disclosure of their political views. This conclusion rests on the seemingly uncontroversial (if circular) premise that petition signing is a public activity. Courts have thus far shown little sympathy for individuals who take a public stand on an issue by signing a petition and then assert privacy claims after the fact. Democracy, after all, takes courage, as Justice Scalia wrote in the petitioning disclosure case Doe v. Reed. But signing a petition today brings consequences beyond public criticism. The real threat of disclosure for modern petition signers is not tangible harassment, but the loss ...