Panel upholds legislators’ plan to create six U.S. House seats – Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon 2021-11-25 09:23:13 –

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Portland, OregonPortland Tribune) — A special committee of five retired judges upheld the parliamentary constituency change plan promoted by the Democratic majority of the Oregon Legislature and rejected the Republican-led challenge.

The panel announced its decision on Wednesday, November 24th. It can be appealed to the final arbitrator, the Oregon Supreme Court, but the panel’s findings can weigh heavily on general appeals.

The Panel referred to Senate Bill 881, Parliament gave final approval on September 27, and there was no Republican vote.


“The Commission has enacted a map, SB 881, which reflects Oregon’s previous parliamentary map, both in design and effectiveness, and a solid deliberation process of neutral standards (in state law). It is the result of careful application and concludes that neither has a major partisan advantage. Political groups.

“As long as the process included political attitude and partisan negotiations, such factors were legislatively predictable and did not control or undermine the effectiveness of the SB881 as a legitimate structure.”

Any appeal must be filed with the Supreme Court by Monday, November 29th. The High Court must decide it by January 3rd. If the judge decides that a change is necessary, the judge must return the case to the Special Committee and report it by January 24.

Oregon and 43 other states needed to redraw the boundaries of the US House of Commons to account for migration after the 2020 census. (There is only one seat in each of the six states.) Oregon won a seat as a result of the census. The state’s current lineup consists of four Democrats and one Republican, all of whom will run for election in 2022.

Each new district had to be within 5 of the new average of 706,209. Federal courts are more strict about equal populations in the US House of Commons than in the Legislature.

Gerrymandering suspect

The proceedings were filed on October 11 by Republican and former Secretary of State Bev Klarno of Redmond, a former chairman of the Oregon House. Eugene’s Larry Campbell, Republican and former Speaker of the House. Tigard Gary Wilhelms, a former Republican leader and Republican constituency change consultant in 2001, and real estate broker The Dalles Jim Wilcox.

Democratic Secretary of State Shemia Fagan, who took over Clarno on January 4, was appointed defendant in her role as Oregon’s chief election officer.

The proceedings alleged that the map of Parliament was the result of a flawed process of tilting the map towards the Democratic Party. Plaintiffs asked for a substitute for their map.

According to the nonpartisan website www.fivethirtyeight.com, The plans submitted by both parties to the legislative committee, as they are today, have provided clear registration benefits to Democrats in Districts 1 and 3, and Republicans in District 2. The Democratic map makes the other three districts competitive, but in favor of the Democratic Party — and the new sixth district is nearby. Republican maps give the GOP more competitive hope in these districts.

The special committee was created by legislation during the 2021 regular session. Its members, one from each of Oregon’s current five US House districts, all retired circuit judges, were appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Martha Walters.

Mary James of Marion County led the panel. Others included Richard Baron in Coos County, Paula Brownhill in Clatsop County, William Kramer in Harney / Grant County, and Catherine Tennyson in Multnomah County.

The boundaries of the six parliamentary districts of Oregon were signed by Governor Kate Brown on September 27, 2021 (KOIN).

What the panel said

The Commission explicitly rejected the proceedings alleging that the plan itself was flawed because Congress’s vote to change the constituency was in line with the party’s policy.

“We respect the legislative process of Oregon and refuse to adopt the cynical view that all politics is dirty politics. It’s not just Oregon’s experience or heritage,” the decision said. rice field.

“We do not tend to scrutinize the political mechanism of the legislative process as a fundamental issue of separation of powers. Such criteria are absolute whether the plan is presumed to illegally support political parties. Will give control to the minority party. Minority parties can vote against plans that are in line with the party’s policies, regardless of the merits of the plan, which can generate improper presumptions of purpose. Therefore, we conclude that the voting details do not tell us anything about the quality of the plan. “

The panel also rejected the proceedings alleging that Multnomah County was divided into four of the six House districts in favor of the Democratic Party.

The current map has divided Portland along the Willamette River — the first in the west, the third in the east — and the fifth sliver, as it has been for decades. On the new map, 67% remain third and 24% remain first — the boundaries have moved east and inside northeastern Portland — and only 8% are fifth and new sixth. Included in the district.

“Petitioners do not explain whether the small and small shares of Portland voters in other districts make up the gerrymandering or make a difference in elections,” the panel wrote.

The panel’s decision was foreseen by a statement on November 8 by Henry Bryshaupt, a former judge of the Oregon State Tax Court. The Commission nominated him as a special master, scrutinized the testimony heard by the legislative committee, and prepared findings on whether the plan complied with the standards set out in Oregon state law.

Partisan reaction

The reaction to the panel’s decision was, as expected, in line with the party’s policy.

Canby’s Republican leader Christine Drazin, who started bidding for the governor, said: Instead of serving the interests of the Oregons, they have served themselves. That’s why an independent constituency change committee is needed to keep this job away from politicians. “

If the initiative measures qualify for state-wide voting in the 2022 general election and Oregon voters approve it, the new Commission will redraw the boundaries of parliament and legislative districts for the 2024 election. You will be authorized to do so.

Speaker of the House Tina Kotek, who is seeking a Democratic governor, and Portland Democratic leader Barbara Smith Warner, have different views. Their statement also refers to the November 22 decision by the Oregon Supreme Court to support plans to change the constituency of the Legislature.

“These decisions confirm that the Legislature has passed a map of fairness, legality and the Constitution,” said Kotek and Smith Warner. “It was very difficult to complete this constitutional obligation on a very condensed timeline. Thank you to the legislators who worked to get the job done for the people of Oregon.”

What the senator said

Senator Kathleen Taylor, D-Milwaukee, led the panel that created the map in Senate Bill 881.

“The Senate Constituency Change Commission has made a tireless effort to redraw the parliamentary district of Oregon and add a new district for the first time in 40 years, under a very tight schedule,” she said in a statement. Said. “The Legislature has once again succeeded in its obligation to give our community a better representation by redrawing the district in a fair and publicly-inspired manner.”

Senator Peter Courtney is Salem’s Democrat, who has gone through five constituency change cycles, the most member of Oregon’s history. He chaired the Senate 10 years ago and approved plans to change the constituencies of Congress and the legislature, where members were not challenged in court.

“We are pleased that our product has been brought to court,” he said. “This map has received a very thorough and objective review. A committee of judges has found that the work we have done is in compliance with the law. Congress has done us very well. I think I can say that. “

Panel upholds legislators’ plan to create six U.S. House seats Source link Panel upholds legislators’ plan to create six U.S. House seats

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