Portland, Oregon – Several Republican Oregon state senators went to federal court and said that their choice to resign was protected by the First Amendment because it was some form of political speech.
A judge tossed out this case on December 13.
These lawmakers had left the Senate before the vote on bills that would have limited access to abortion and guns.
“They walked out because they felt that the Democrats were not consulting with them,” said political expert Jim Moore.
They encountered issues with Measure 113, which states legislators are ineligible for reelection if they accumulate over ten unexcused absences.
Judge Aiken, the federal judge, ruled that their freedom of speech rights were not violated because their membership in the legislative body meant their absence hindered its functioning, explained Moore.
Despite the federal court setback, they still have a pending case in the Oregon Supreme Court. This case concentrates on the precise wording of Measure 113.
The senators contend that, as per the current wording of the constitutional amendment, they are not prohibited from seeking reelection next year.
“The final decision, either the Republicans will be able to run for reelection, or they won’t. And the second part of that is every one of those Republicans who will run for reelection, has already designated who they want their substitute to be,” said Moore.