Oregon Lawmakers Reject Dangerous Constitutional Convention

SALEM – On Saturday, the Oregon state legislature rejected national, partisan efforts to rewrite the U.S. Constitution. In a unanimous and bipartisan vote, the State Senate rescinded previous legislative efforts to call for an Article V Constitutional Convention, a process that would upend established freedoms and protections in a chaotic process without any rules.

“A Constitutional Convention would mean constitutional chaos for every basic freedom Oregonians cherish,” said Kate Titus, Executive Director of Common Cause Oregon. “Republicans and Democrats came together today to reject the idea that our freedoms are up for grabs.”

Common Cause Oregon, a key leader in the fight to stop a Constitutional Convention, partnered with partners at AFL-CIO and AFSCME to pass legislation championed by House Majority Leader Julie Fahey and Minority Senate Leader Tim Knopp. HB 3625 rescinded all previous calls for a convention and HJM 3 directed the state to inform Congress of the rejection. The victory in Oregon comes on the heels of another victory when calls for a Constitutional Convention failed in Montana in February 2023. 

“The people of Oregon weren’t fooled by the national special interests scheming to take away our rights for partisan gain,” said Viki Harrison, Director of Constitutional Convention at Common Cause. “Common Cause will continue to educate and empower voters to reject the idea we should rewrite our constitution without any rules or precedent in such a highly-polarized environment.” 

An Article V Constitutional Convention:

  • A rewrite of the U.S. Constitution triggered when 34 state legislatures call for one
  • Has no rules as to who can attend, who writes the agenda, how the votes are cast, or whose voices get heard – or silenced – in the process. 
  • A dangerous threat to American Democracy as we know it, with the possibility for the U.S. Constitution to be entirely rewritten, with no way to control or curb a convention once it has begun. 
  • Has no precedent. The first and last convention took place in 1787.
  • Has support in 28 states.

Together, HB 3625 and HJM 3 will prove significant in protecting the U.S. Constitution, our democracy, and our freedoms, eliminating Oregon’s decades-old resolutions that were still on the books before they can be misused to advance radical agendas. Though the amendments were eventually resolved through regular channels, the resolutions still remained on record. These bills counter the extremist national movements that have been testing legal theories in court attempting to take advantage of old state resolutions to enact a new Convention to push their agendas. 

This was a bipartisanship effort throughout the Legislature. The bills were carried by Rep. Julie Fahey, House Majority Leader (D) in the House, and Sen. Tim Knopp, Minority Senate Leader (R) in the Senate.