Oregon Wild v. Port of Portland

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Constitutional Law
  • Date Filed: 06-29-2017
  • Case #: A156024
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, J. for the Court; Hadlock, C.J.; Ortega, J.; Sercombe, J.; Egan, J.; DeVore, J.; Tookey, J.; Garrett, J.; DeHoog, J.; Shorr, J.; Flynn, J. pro tempore; & Armstrong, J. concurring.
  • Full Text Opinion

"A law is classified under the 'first category' if it is 'written in terms directed to the substance of any "opinion or any "subject" of communication'". State v. Robertson, 293 Or. at 412

Defendant, Port of Portland, appealed a judgment proclaiming that the Port of Portland violated Article 1, Section 8, of the Oregon Constitution when it rejected an advertisement by Oregon Natural Resources Council (Plaintiff). Defendent assigned error to the circuit court's interpretation of Karuk Tribe of California v. TriMet, 241 Or. App. 537, 251 P.3d 773 (2011), aff'd by an equally divided court, 355 Or. 239, 323 P.3d 947 (2014), which held that TriMet violated Oregon's constitution when it similarly denied an advertisement on public buses. On appeal, defendant argued that its case was distinguishable from Karuk Tribe because the defendant's advertisement policy isn't "law" for purposes of Article 1, section 8; that if it was a law, it wasn't regulatory of speech but of concerns to managing an airport; and that municipal corporations have a "historical exception . . . acting in a proprietary rather than a government capacity." In response, Plaintiff argued that the case was moot because it was no longer running the advertisement."A law is classified under the 'first category' if it is 'written in terms directed to the substance of any "opinion or any "subject" of communication'". State v. Robertson, 293 Or. at 412. The Court of Appeals held that the case was not Moot and that the word "law" is to be interpreted to include legislative acts or enactment of a rule. The Court also affirmed the rejection of permissible use of property argument in Karuk Tribe. The Court held that violated free speech when it denied advertisement based on its content.  Affirmed.

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