By Oregon State Senator Brian Boquist,
Highlights, excerpts from Sen. Boquist newsletter
— Oregon Capital Chronicle reports: Republican senators sue Oregon Senate president, secretary of state over absences. The federal lawsuit joins an ongoing state case from Republican senators who want to run for reelection.
— Some Oregon Republican Senators are fighting back against the decades-long Democrat control and corruption. For a recent example of how the majority party has eroded trust in the law, look no further than the stacks of cash they accepted from corrupt marijuana business La Mota and conman Sam Bankman-Fried.
— Last session, some Oregon Republican Senators represented their constituents by denying quorum to protest the lawlessness of the Democrats in power and a horrendous bill that ended up passing (with some minor changes) that directly attacked families and children.
— The denial of quorum, the longest in the state’s history, was different last session than in previous years with the passage of Ballot Measure 113, which “added language to the Oregon Constitution preventing any lawmaker from running for reelection if they have 10 or more unexcused absences in a single legislative session,” as reported by OPB.
— With Measure 113, it’s clear the Democrats’ intent was to scare minority legislators away from walking out by threatening their seats – especially as the denial of quorum tactic has been successful in the past.
— It was sketchily written and places too much unchecked power in the hands of the Senate President, who is now facing a federal lawsuit. As reported by the Oregon Capital Chronicle: “The federal lawsuit filed by Sens. Brian Boquist, Cedric Hayden and Dennis Linthicum, along with three county Republican central committees and two voters, joins a state lawsuit filed by Linthicum and four other senators to block a ruling from Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade that disqualified several senators from filing for reelection based on Measure 113. Continued: “The state case rests on how the court interprets the text of Measure 113, a constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2022 to prevent any lawmakers with 10 or more unexcused absences from serving another term. The senators who sued in state court contend that they’re ineligible for the term after their next term because the measure wasn’t worded clearly.Continued: “But the federal lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene, is based on the U.S. Constitution, with Boquist, Hayden and Linthicum arguing that Wagner and Griffin-Valade infringed on their First Amendment right to free expression and Fourteenth Amendment guarantee of equal protection under the law. “ Why would Oregonians want the whims of the Senate President to decide who is on the next ballot?Measure 113 is unconstitutional for several reasons. It snubs legislators’ First Amendment rights to free speech and the right to protest. These senators’ civil rights have been impeded. Their constitutional authority to protest and represent their constituents has been undermined.
— More on the walkout last session linked in this newsletter.
— As previously written, “Some of the legislators who denied quorum might have given up their present role as state senators to strike back against government corruption and in solidarity for Oregon families and their freedoms. It was more important to them that they protect children and parents, than maintain their roles as state senators. This is what moral courage looks like; what it looks like to put others above self. Taking parents out of lifelong medical decisions is tragic for children, whose brains are still developing. “
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