Saturday, October 15, 2005

Oregon courts are a mess

Four recent decisions by Oregon courts have me shaking my head. Live sex acts are protected speech. Fraternal clubs have to accept women. Portland School District can't sub out its janitors. Measure 37 is thrown out.

Have we had enough? Getting Jack Roberts on the supreme court will be a start. But it's about a one-yard run on third down and 75.

When some piss-ant district court judge can toss out M37 (which 61% of Oregonians voted for) on the most ridiculous of legal pretenses, we are in trouble.

I love the part about M37 violating the "equal protection" clause of Oregon's constitution. It is unfair to the "group" of people who are more recent property purchasers, since they have the restrictive rules the other "group" (who bought their land earlier) don't suffer from.

First, this is a pretty expansive definition of "group." I'm guessing you could find thousands of Oregon laws that treat different people differently if this loose definition of class or group is allowed to stand. Second, if M37 is disallowed on this basis, wouldn't that invalidate ANY law that created a grandfather clause exempting a "group" of citizens to whom the law doesn't apply because they acted before the law was passed?

So the decision it seems to me, puts the court in an impossible dilemma between this new legal principle and an age old one - that of disallowing retroactive laws.

M37 is basically a grandfathering law. It says they can't change the land use rules on the land you already own. This decision basically says grandfather laws are unconstitutional because they always create two classes of citizens - one who is exempt from the law and one who is not.

So, this decision basically says all laws HAVE TO BE RETROACTIVE! Which of course violates what I always thought was another pretty established legal principle.

This is what happens when you have judges who are nothing but politicians in robes. This judge knew where she wanted to get, and so she concocted a legal basis to get there. But the lame-brain that she is, she failed to think it through and realize that her basis for the decision would invalidate a huge body of other laws.

Can we get Jack Roberts on the Supreme Court before this stupid decision gets up there?

2 comments:

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gus miller said...

Rob:

How about the 4-3 Oregon Supreme Court invalidating PPS 2002 decision to contract out janitorial services. The majority of the court ruled that "district employees" must satisfy the civil service board that they are not a danger to children before they are hired.

How do we know that any current employees of PPS District 1J meet that requirement?

Have employees of alternative, charter or tutoring services PPS contracts with satisfied that requirement?