Parrish v. Rosenblum

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Ballot Titles
  • Date Filed: 10-25-2017
  • Case #: S065300
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Balmer, C.J. for the Court; En Banc.
  • Full Text Opinion

A caption must be reasonably identifiable in subject matter. "Yes" and "no" statements must be laid out as simple and understandable. The summary must be a “concise and impartial statement” that summarizes the legislation and its major effects. ORS 250.035(2)(a) - (2)(d).

Petitioners sought review of the ballot title for Referendum Petition 301 (2018). Petitioners argued that multiple parts of the Referendum Petition (the caption, summary, and “yes” or “no” result statements) are not in compliance with ORS 250.035(2). A caption must be reasonably identifiable in subject matter. “Yes” and ”no” statements must be simple and understandable. The summary must be a “concise and impartial statement” that summarizes the legislation and its major effects. ORS 250.035(2)(a) - (2)(d). The Oregon Supreme Court found the phrasing of the caption has the potential to confuse voters because it lists lengthy descriptions of programs funded by HB 2391 and also is too general to be able to reasonably identify the subject matter. The Supreme Court further found that the “yes” and “no” statements had similar flaws as the caption because end of the “no” statement does not reveal and clear result for the choice of “no.” The Supreme Court also held that the last two sentences of the summary presents an unclear and “speculative theory about the temporary assessments on hospitals.” The ballot title is referred to the Attorney General for modification.

 

 

 

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