In Oregon, there are currently several environmental ballot measures proposed. Back in September, the environmental group Oregon Wild filed three petitions for ballot measures related to Forestry Practices, The Oregon Secretary of State rejected these measures, Initiative Petitions #35, 36 and 37, because she found they violated the single subject rule.

 Marion County ruling

A Marion County Circuit Court judge issued a ruling today and agreed with the Secretary of State

In an opinion issued Wednesday, Marion County Judge Daniel Wren found Clarno was correct when in September she tossed the three initiative petitions filed by the group Oregon Wild.

The decision suggests Clarno has wide latitude to decide whether proposed measures pass constitutional muster. 

This case is a bit unusual as the Secretary of State is an elected official. It is the second highest position, as the State does not have a Lieutenant Governor. 

The position is currently filled by Republican Bev Clarno, who was appointed to the position following the death of Dennis Richardson and was sworn in on March 31, 2019. As a courtesy, Oregon’s Governor, Kate Brown, is a Democrat. She appointed a person from the same party as the deceased, as a courtesy that we previously extended.

The State’s Attorney General, Ellen Rosenblum, is also elected. As OPB reports, on October 24, Attorney Genreal Rosenblum sent Secretary of State Clarno a letter saying the State Department of Justice would not defend this action. Rosenblum felt defending the secretary of state’s decision would be “adverse to the interests of the Oregon Legislative Assembly and adverse to the interests of the people wielding the initiative power reserved to them by the Oregon Constitution.”

Opponents have vowed to appeal. 

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