Friday 2 February 2024

Court Upholds Decision To Block 10 Republicans From Running For Re-Election After Abortion Protest

 The Oregon Supreme Court has upheld a decision from Democrat Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade that 10 Republican state senators cannot run for re-election after they participated in legislative walkouts over radical Democrat-backed bills on abortion, transgenderism, and guns.

Those banned from running for re-election included Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp, who sued Griffin-Valade over her determination that a new measure aimed at restricting walkouts applied to the 10 Republicans. Republicans in the Senate participated in a six-week walkout over Democrat control of the body, which Knopp described as being run like a “banana republic.”

“We obviously disagree with the Supreme Court’s ruling,” Knopp said on Thursday. “But more importantly, we are deeply disturbed by the chilling impact this decision will have to crush dissent.”

The lawmakers were banned from running for re-election thanks to the 2022 voter-approved Measure 13, which was designed to punish lawmakers who participate in walkouts. In addition to Knopp, the Republicans banned from running for re-election include Brian Boquist, Lynn Findley, Bill Hansell, Dennis Linthicum, Art Robinson, Daniel Bonham, Cedric Hayden, Kim Thatcher, and Suzanne Weber.

“Those other materials [info on Measure 13] expressly and uniformly informed voters that the amendment would apply to a legislator’s immediate next terms of office, indicating that the voters so understood and intended that meaning,” the Supreme Court said in its decision disagreeing with Republicans arguments that the measure was worded in such a way to allow them to still run for re-election.

Democrats praised the decision to bar the Republicans from running for re-election.

“Today’s ruling by the Oregon Supreme Court means that legislators and the public now know how Measure 113 will be applied, and that is good for our state,” Democrat Senate President Rob Wagner said.

The senators’ 2023 walkout delayed passage of hundreds of bills, including measures that would allow girls of any age to get abortions without parental consent and forcing insurance companies to pay for transgender procedures. Oregon law requires two thirds of the senators to be present meaning that the Republicans could force inaction by not showing up.


Last year, Knopp said that the walkout was motivated to defend the Constitution and Oregon law, which he said the Democrats were violating. Democrats have a 17-13 advantage in the state Senate.

“We were trying to defend the Constitution and Oregon law against those that essentially said, ‘We have the votes, we can do whatever we want,’” he told POLITICO. “We thought it was a principle worth defending, even if it meant that we couldn’t run for re-election.”

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