The Oregon Supreme Court ruled Thursday the 10 senators who staged extended walkouts last year would not be eligible to run again, due to the 2022 voter-approved Measure 113. Sen. Tim Knopp of Bend is among them.
The wording of the measure on the ballot may have left many confused about the intent of the law, about how long the ban lasts and what options Knopp and the other senators have moving forward.
Central Oregon Daily asked Lewis and Clark Professor of Law Tung Yin whether Knopp or the other senators could appeal the ruling.
“The short answer is no,” Yin said. “There are steps they could take, but it’s unlikely those steps would be resolved in time for this election.”
As for how long the senators are banned and what positions the ban applies to, Yin says the language read by voters doesn’t exactly spell it out.
“If you looked only at the text of Measure 113, that language seems to support the argument of the Republican senators. The explanation of the measure to the voters seemed to make it clear what Measure 113 was intended to do — don’t do this anymore,” he said. “The conflict is between what the simplified language for the voters is saying versus what the actual language of the ballot measure itself.”
Yin added the decision doesn’t rule Knopp or other senators out in 2028 or beyond.
“Do we think that the voters understood that would be a permanent disqualification?” he asked. “Or is it kind of like, ‘OK, you gave your time out and hopefully you’ve learned your lesson.’”
With Knopp out for 2024, the race for the senate seat in District 27 is now between Bend City Councilor Anthony Broadman, running as a Democrat, and Downtown Bend Business Association Executive Director Shannon Monihan, running on the Republican side. Knopp had already endorsed Monihan prior to Thursday’s ruling.