OLYMPIA – The U.S. Supreme Court on April 28 will hear arguments on whether the names on ballot-measure petitions are public records.
The Washington secretary of state’s office announced the hearing date for a case that is getting national attention.
The records at the heart of the case are the names and addresses on the petitions to put Referendum 71 on last fall’s ballot. After the Legislature expanded rights for same-sex and other unmarried couples last spring, opponents gathered signatures to ask voters to overturn the bill. Supporters of gay rights requested the names under the state’s public records law, but sponsors objected, saying the signers could be subjected to harassment.
Although the state has previously released the names from initiative and referendum campaigns, judges have disagreed over whether the names in this case are public records. Most recently, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said they are, but that ruling is on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court rules.
Tribal court escapee caught miles away
A handcuffed 17-year-old Coeur d’Alene tribal member escaped from the tribe’s justice center Tuesday, walking at least eight miles through “pretty rough terrain” before he was captured.
Timothy R. Allen, of Worley, was driving the car involved in a Feb. 5 high-speed pursuit on Interstate 90 that ended with his arrest and the arrest of three others.
Allen was in tribal court Tuesday facing unrelated charges when he escaped out a side door about 11:40 a.m. after asking to use the bathroom, said Marc Stewart, tribal spokesman. He was wearing only shorts and a T-shirt and escaped into the woods, Stewart said.
Allen was captured walking near Plummer High School about 5:20 p.m.
The teen will likely face new charges for the escape, Stewart said. Allen also faces felony and misdemeanor charges in Kootenai County for the Feb. 5 incident.
21-year-old stabbed in South Hill park
A 21-year-old man was stabbed multiple times Tuesday night while walking through a South Hill park in what may have been an attempted robbery, Spokane police said.
The victim and three other people were passing through Thornton Murphy Park at 27th Avenue and Ray Street about 7:30 p.m. when they were confronted by a group of three, police said.
The three suspects allegedly assaulted the man, stabbing him several times.
Arrested on first-degree assault charges were Cody A. Kjos, 19, and an unidentified 13-year-old male. Police identified and were looking for another juvenile suspect.
The victim was taken to the hospital with non-life- threatening injuries, police said.