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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Justice Scalia Says Democracy Requires "Civic Courage"

"Trust but verify, I like that," said U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anontin Scalia during the oral arguments in the case of Doe v. Reed, a case to decide whether the signature petitions to overturn Washington state's R-71 are public records and can be disclosed.

Justice Scalia's statements hint that the state public records law will prevail. He noted that voting was public for the first century of U.S. history, "you either did it raising your hand or by voice, or later, you had a ballot that was very visibly red or blue so that people knew which party you were voting for -- the fact is that running a democracy takes a certain amount of civic courage. And the First Amendment does not protect you from criticism or even nasty phone calls when you exercise your political rights to legislate, or to take part in the legislative process."

Click here for more, including transcripts of the oral arguments.

For more background on the case, click here.

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