People Not Politicians Take Response to the U.S. Supreme Court, Oppose Unnecessary Stay Motion to Keep Redistricting Reform off the 2020 Ballot

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Washington, DCPeople Not Politicians today continued its fight to reform redistricting in Oregon by filing its opposition to the Oregon Attorney General’s application for a stay before the U.S. Supreme Court in People Not Politicians Oregon v. Clarno.

Initiative Petition 57, filed in November 2019, would create the Oregon Citizens Redistricting Commission and put redistricting in the hands of voters, not our politicians.

The initiative campaign coalition is being led by the League of Women Voters of Oregon, Common Cause Oregon, Oregon Farm Bureau, the Independent Party of Oregon, NAACP Eugene/Springfield Branch, OSPIRG, Oregon’s Progressive Party, the Taxpayer Association of Oregon, and tens of thousands of Oregonians who support the effort to remove conflicts of interest from drawing voting lines.

On July 30, People Not Politicians received notice that the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office had completed their review and determined that the campaign had submitted enough valid signatures required to meet the threshold set by Federal District Court Judge McShane in his July 10 order. While IP 57 has not yet officially been placed on the November ballot, People Not Politicians is forging ahead with a robust public education and advocacy campaign.

 

People Not Politicians advocated to the Supreme Court that the Attorney General’s application for the stay is unnecessary. Because no further work must be done by the Oregon Secretary of State and the Ninth Circuit scheduled an expedited hearing on the merits of the case on August 13, there is no need for the United States Supreme Court to weigh in at this stage.

“Despite an unprecedented global pandemic, we used an innovative program to mail, text, phone, and email voters where they live – and Oregonians responded,” said Eric Richardson, Executive Director of the Eugene/Springfield NAACP. “With tens of thousands of Oregonians mailing petitions back, and an unprecedented 97% validation rate, Oregonians are telling us loud and clear, it’s time to put redistricting in the hands of the people, not politicians.”

People Not Politicians also argued that the Oregon Attorney General has no standing to move forward with the litigation because the Oregon Secretary of State is not interested in pursuing this appeal. Oregon law is very clear that the only entity capable of appealing the District Court’s order is the Oregon Secretary of State.

“It’s clear that the Oregon Attorney General is pursuing a political agenda rather than representing the interests of Oregonians. We are fighting to give every Oregonian, regardless of party affiliation, a say on redistricting reform this November,” said Norman Turrill, Chief Petitioner of People Not Politicians.

Adam Lauridsen, David J. Rosen, Jay Rapaport, and Tara M. Rangchi of Keker, Van Nest and Peters lead the legal team in the Ninth Circuit and Supreme Court. Common Cause attorneys Dan Vicuna, Suzanne Almeida, Kathay Feng, law clerks Alton Wang and Michael Guggenheim, and separately Steve Elzinga of Sherman, Sherman, Johnnie and Hoyt contributed.

Learn more about IP 57, the campaign’s effort, and sign the petition at: www.PeopleNotPoliticiansOregon.com.

To read today’s filing, click here.

To read the District Court’ preliminary order ruling, click here.