AFP Members Win Measure 37 Court Case

Americans for Prosperity Press Release
M37 Waivers Granted by Counties are Binding, Legal Contracts — Must Be Honored

GRANTS PASS — Americans For Prosperity-Oregon announced this evening that its Josephine County Chairman, Jack Swift, and Jackson County members Bob Robertson and Dave and Joy Smith have won a major Federal District Court victory regarding Measure 37, an Oregon land-use ballot measure. Under that Measure, governments were forced to either financially compensate landowners for regulations that decreased property values, or waive the regulations in the alternative. Plaintiffs in the case were retired attorney Dave and Joy Smith, founders of Citizens for Constitutional Fairness in Jackson County. Swift’s argument was that Counties providing such waivers had entered into a binding legal contract with the landowners that could not be undone by subsequent State action. Measure 49, referred by the Legislature as an attempt to repeal the Constitutional freedoms confirmed under Measure 37, was passed by voters in November of last year. Measure 49 sought to overturn all local actions intended to comply with the earlier Measure.

“This is a tremendous victory for Oregon property owners, and for Americans for Prosperity,” said Oregon State Director Jeff Kropf. “For too long, our State has used a heavy hand to restrict the uses of privately-owned property. Our Constitution guarantees the right to private property, and promises the government will pay any time they “˜take’ land. Oregon has been taking private property through onerous regulations since the 1970s. Measure 37 simply attempted to make government follow the Constitution, and pay for what it took away. Oregonians can take heart that our courts have upheld the notion that once a government entity makes an agreement, landowners can count on it.”

AFP stood alone among statewide groups in encouraging Swift and Robertson to take the Smith’s case forward. Today’s decision may now be appealed to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals by the County but the State has no standing to appeal.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits. For more information, visit
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