Oregon: “Ninth Circuit Denies Motion to Keep Redistricting Reform off the 2020 Ballot”


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit today declined to halt implementation of a Federal District Court decision, in People Not Politicians Oregon v. Clarno, giving redistricting reform advocates more time to gather signatures with a lower signature threshold to place Initiative Petition 57 (IP 57) on Oregon’s 2020 November ballot. /// 

On July 10, 2020, Judge Michael J. McShane issued a preliminary order stating that plaintiffs are likely to prevail in their claim that the Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno’s strict enforcement of the signature-gathering requirements duringthe ongoing pandemic unconstitutionally burdened the rights of the People Not Politicians campaign. Judge McShane ordered Secretary Clarno to choose between placing IP 57 on the ballot based on the approximately 64,000 signatures already collected or extending the deadline to August 17, 2020 and lowering the threshold to 58,789 verified signatures. Secretary Clarno chose the deadline extension and lower threshold. Despite the Secretary’s declaration that her office would not appeal the ruling, Oregon’s Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion with the Ninth Circuit requesting a stay of the District Court decision while the Ninth Circuit considers the case on its merits.  

The Ninth Circuit denied Oregon’s DOJ motion today.    

Judge Callahan dissented. Interesting footnote: “I similarly dissented from the denial of a stay motion in Reclaim Idaho v. Little, 20-35584. See Reclaim Idaho v. Little, 20-35584, CM/ECF Docket Entry No. 14 (July 9, 2020). Local press incorrectly reported that the Court’s denial in that case was unanimous. See Nathan Brown, Reclaim Idaho to resume signature
gathering on school funding initiative, POST REGISTER (July 9, 2020),

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