Redistricting next steps may involve judges, SOS

By Taxpayers Association of Oregon


When the Oregon House reconvenes Monday, Sept. 27, Speaker Tina Kotek declared she will adjourn the floor session by 9:30AM (it convenes at 9) should House Republicans not provide quorum as House Republicans have already boycotted the session over unfairness this weekend. If the Special Session adjourns without adopting new plans, here’s what comes next:

Congressional Districts. A panel of five judges appointed by Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice Martha Walters (appointed in 2006 by Governor Ted Kulongoski) will draw up a plan. It is then presented to the Court which can adopt or revise it.

State Legislative Districts.  Secretary of State Shemia Fagan (D-Portland) gets her chance to draw the plan. She announced that she will appoint a “People’s Commission on Redistricting” (ala Communist China or the Soviet Union?) to advise her. She received 760 applications and will appoint the panel if the Legislature fails to enact a plan. That commission will get started almost immediately.

NOTE: While she has made much of this commission, Fagan is under no legal obligation to write her plan based on what this panel says or public testimony received.

Fagan will then announce her draft reapportionment plan on Oct. 4. She and her “People’s Commission” will then accept written comments and hold public hearings (locations unknown):

-Oct. 6 CD 4 (DeFazio) 5:30-8:30 p.m.
-Oct 7: CD 2 (Bentz) 5:30-8:30 p.m.
-Oct 8: CD 5 (Schrader) 5:30-8:30 p.m.
-Oct 9: CD 1 (Bonamici) 9:00 a.m.-Noon
-Oct 9: CD 3 (Blumenauer) 2:00-5:00 p.m.

A transcription of the hearings will be made; evidence, views and arguments will be reviewed; and any adjustments will supposedly be made. On October 18, Fagan submits her plan and the other material to the Supreme Court. The court will review the plan and approve or direct modifications to be made.