Oregon Supreme Court Rules Against Rural Oregonians Right to Elect Incumbent  Senators but Admits Measure 113’s Wording Favors a Different Decision  

February 3, 2024

Statement by Oregon Republican Party Chair Justin Hwang and Vice Chair Dr. Angela Plowhead 

Salem, OR, February 3, 2024—We are disappointed with, but not surprised by Thursday’s ruling  of the Oregon Supreme Court, which interferes with the right of citizens in one-third of Oregon’s  Senate districts to re-elect incumbent Senators. The Democrat-appointed justices decided to  overlook the clear language of Measure 113’s constitutional amendment and to quash the  minority’s right to express dissent through peaceful protest.  

The court itself admits the language of the constitutional amendment favors the Senators: “If we  were required to choose between [the Republican Senators’] and [Oregon Secretary of State’s]  interpretations based on the text alone, [the Senators] would have a strong argument that their  reading is the better one.”  

Not only did rural constituents overwhelmingly support last year’s walkout, they demanded it, while  urban representatives ignored, out-shouted, and even mocked rural concerns.  

The foundational right to protest ensures the minority has a voice in the public square. When in  the minority, Democrats also walked out to express dissent. This ruling serves to suppress  minority voices, to erode trust in a once non-partisan justice system, and to demonstrate the lack  of accountability of single-party rule. We are living in a day when Lady Justice is no longer blind  and partisan fingers tip her scales. 

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