10 Oregon GOP Senators Can’t Seek Re-Election Due to Walkouts
The Oregon State Supreme Court has made a ruling, upholding a voter-passed measure that prohibits legislators from 'walking out' of sessions to prevent votes.
Oregon voters passed Measure 113
Last spring, voters, by a wide margin, approved the measure, which was designed to prevent the walkout tactics used by GOP Minority legislators in the Senate to stall controversial Democratic bills.
Democrats have 'safe' majorities in both the House and Senate, and GOP legislators (mostly from the east side of the state) literally 'walked out' of the session last spring.
Because Oregon law requires at least two-thirds of legislators to be present to hold votes or a quorum, they were successful in stalling votes and killing a few bills.
Measure 113 says legislators who walk out become ineligible to run for re-election.
Half of the 10 GOP Senators challenged the language in Measure 113, but the Oregon High Court upheld the measure.
The ruling will affect a third of Oregon's 30-seat Senate, and some experts say it could further erode the minority position of the GOP. Critics of the measure and GOP supporters say it could actually embolden those leaders, because they can walk out again without having to concern themselves with their future position in the legislature.
Oregon Republicans utilized the walkouts as a last-ditch stand against a number of controversial bills proposed by Democrats over the last couple of years.
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Gallery Credit: Andrew Lisa