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NEWS Oregonian 2/21/06
Following is the conclusion from the report of the
Supreme Courtís decision:
In sum, we conclude that (1) plaintiffs' claims
are justifiable; (2) Measure 37 does not impede
the legislative plenary power; (3) Measure 37 does
not violate the equal privileges and immunities
guarantee of Article I, section 20, of the Oregon
Constitution; (4) Measure 37 does not violate the
suspension of laws provision contained in Article
I, section 22, of the Oregon Constitution; (5)
Measure 37 does not violate separation of powers
constraints; (6) Measure 37 does not waive
impermissibly sovereign immunity; and (7) Measure
37 does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment to
the United States Constitution. The trial court's
contrary conclusions under the state and federal
constitutions were erroneous and must be reversed.
The judgment of the circuit court is reversed, and
the case is remanded for entry of judgment in
favor of defendants and intervenors.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Supreme Court says yes to Measure 37
By LAURA OPPENHEIMER
Oregon's Supreme Court has revived the
controversial property rights law that could
redefine rural Oregon.
Measure 37 did not violate state and federal
constitutions as a lower court said,
justices ruled Tuesday in a case that will
be dissected across the nation. Their decision
jump starts more than 2,500 applications to
develop land that is now controlled by
Oregonians from the coast to the Wallowa
Mountains, and every point in between, have
asked to turn back the clock to rules in place
when they bought their property. Cities,
counties and state agencies also had the
option of paying for any financial loss, but
no money to do it.
Quibbles remain over exactly how Measure 37
works, but a stamp of approval from the
Supreme Court is likely to clear the way for
development. Tuesday's decision means new
homes and businesses will rise from the
thousands of acres in question.
The ruling only escalates the battle over how
Oregon plans for growth.
Property rights activists - led by Measure 37
authors Oregonians In Action - may be
emboldened to seek wholesale change in
Oregon's approach: reserving the country for
agriculture, and clustering people in cities.
Advocates of Oregon's trademark style,
including 1000 Friends of Oregon, want voters
to replace Measure 37 with what they consider
a "responsible" alternative.
And members of a new state land-use task force
know they will work in a political firestorm.
Measure 37 has remained one of Oregon's most
contentious issues since voters approved it in
From the beginning, disputes about the law
scared away bankers and builders who
ordinarily would jump at land deals.
Legislators couldn't resolve the argument.
In October, a Marion County circuit judge
overthrew Measure 37. Mary Mertens James said
the new law took away the Legislature's power,
gave longtime landowners an unfair advantage
and shut other Oregonians out of the planning