The bar takes positions on ballot measures only when they directly impact the legal profession or operation of the courts in Oregon. For this election, the bar has taken positions in opposition to constitutional amendments regarding the geographical election of appellate judges and limits on state spending.
On August 4, 2006 the Board of Governors voted to oppose Constitutional Amendments 40 and 48, and on September 16 the House of Delegates held its annual meeting and voted to join the board in opposing these measures.
What is Constitutional Amendment 40?
If passed, Measure 40 will amend the constitution to require that appellate court judges be elected or appointed by geographic districts. Under current law, the seventeen appellate judges are elected statewide.
How would it work?
Supreme Court Justices would be elected from seven separate districts.
Court of Appeals Judges would be elected from five separate districts, with two in each district.
The new judicial districts would be drawn based upon population.
Judicial candidates must be residents of their districts for at least one year before election or appointment, and must remain a resident of the district throughout the term of office.
Watch a forum on Measure 40, with supporters and opponents debating its merits. Speaking in support are former gubernatorial candidate Kevin Mannix and Jim Huffman, former dean and current professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School. Speaking against the measure are constitutional law expert Charlie Hinkle of the firm Stoel Rives and Susan Marmaduke of Harrang Long Gary Rudnick. Sources of information relied on by our presenters include the American Judicature Society and the National Center for State Courts.
You can review the text of the ballot and the ballot title on the Secretary of State Web site.
What is Constitutional Amendment 48?
Proponents of Measure 48 call it the "Taxpayers Bill of Rights" (often abbreviated "TaBOR") or the "Rainy Day Amendment." In fact, the measure would limit state spending but would not confer new rights on taxpayers or create a rainy day fund.
How would it work?
Measure 48 would amend Oregonís Constitution to limit state spending to the percentage increase in the stateís population, plus inflation.
State funds that would be subject to the limits in this measure include the stateís general fund, lottery funds and other funds (gas taxes, payroll taxes, bond proceeds, fees).
The spending limit could be exceeded only by a vote of two-thirds of each chamber of the legislature and approved by a majority of voters in a general election.