The Oregon Supreme Court appears ready to issue its decision Thursday on whether Republican senators who walked out during the 2023 legislative session will be allowed to run for re-election in November. This includes Sen. Tim Knopp of Bend.
On the Supreme Court website, the court indicates it will rule on Knopp vs. Oregon Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade. That decision could come down as early as 8:00 a.m.
This all stems from Oregon Measure 113, which was passed by a wide margin of voters in 2022. It amended the state constitution to bar lawmakers from reelection if they have 10 or more unexcused absences.
Knopp, the Senate minority leader, is among five senators who filed a lawsuit challenging the law. They racked up more than 10 absences during the walkout that ground the 2023 legislative session to a halt. The longest in the Legislature’s history, the boycott stalled hundreds of bills and made national headlines.
The amendment says a lawmaker is not allowed to run “for the term following the election after the member’s current term is completed.” The senators claim the amendment as written means they can seek another term, since a senator’s term ends in January while elections are held the previous November. They argue the penalty doesn’t take effect immediately, but rather, after they’ve served another term.
The Oregon Supreme Court heard the case last month.
If Knopp is banned from the ballot, he has already endorsed Downtown Bend Business Association Executive Director Shannon Monihan to run for his seat.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.