On Thursday, the Oregon Supreme Court has now handed down a decision prohibiting ten Republican state senators from running for reelection.
Their nonattendance at Senate sessions for approximately six weeks last year was a protest intended to impede the passage of Democratic-backed legislation.
The court decision affirms the secretary of state’s judgment to exclude the legislators from the 2024 election ballots, citing a 2022 referendum that prohibits such individuals with a record of 10 unexcused absences from running for re-election.
Voting was halted and work was put on hold during the six-week boycott of the session, the longest such halt in the history of the state.
Legislative concessions were demanded of the absent lawmakers in compensation for their presence.
Republican control of 12 of the state Senate’s 30 seats constitutes a minority. By departing, the Senate was unable to attain a quorum and proceed with voting.
Five legislators filed a challenge to the secretary of state’s ruling, contending that the wording of the 2022 referendum ought to have granted them an additional term in office prior to their disqualification.
Court proceedings centered on the grammatical aspects of the referendum, as each side contested the timing of the election prohibition.
The ballot initiative was overwhelmingly approved by the electorate subsequent to analogous Republican abstentions in 2019, 2020, and 2021.