Conroy v. Rosenblum

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Ballot Titles
  • Date Filed: 03-24-2016
  • Case #: S063735
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Walters, J. for the Court; En Banc
  • Full Text Opinion

The proposed ballot title for Initiative Petition 62 must be returned to the Attorney General because several aspects of the proposed change in the law are not adequately disclosed in he title.

Petitioners seek review of the AG’s certified ballot title for Initiative Petition 62 (IP 62), arguing that the title does not satisfy statutory requirements. IP 62 applies to public employees and their unions. The Attorney General certified the following ballot title for IP 62: “Public employee union may require dues/fees only for limited representation/bargaining activities; authorizes lawsuits.” The title was challenged on three grounds: (1) the title fails to adequately describe the changes IP 62 would make to current union membership; (2) the title fails to disclose certain benefits union members would receive under IP 62; and (3) the title is confusing, misleading, and inaccurate. IP 62 would remove limits on payments by nonmembers and impose limits on dues paid by union members, taking away the authority of unions to set their own membership requirements and to defray their costs through their dues structure. The ballot title does not accurately capture this change in the law. Petitioners also argue that IP 62 has a free-rider effect by allowing union members to receive representation when their dues do not sufficiently cover those costs to the union. The Court holds that the title should inform voters of this situation. The Court also holds that the terms “limited representation/bargaining activities” is not unclear under the statute. The ballot title is referred to the Attorney General for modification.

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