On October 11, 2021 a former Oregon Secretary of State and several Oregon voters filed a petition in the Oregon Circuit Court for Marion County challenging the Legislative Assembly's enacted congressional redistricting plan as violating state law and the Oregon Constitution. Petitioners alleged the Legislative Assembly's enacted congressional plan was a partisan gerrymander drawn with the intent to favor the Democratic Party and its candidates and to disadvantage the Republican Party and its candidates. In doing so, the petitioners asserted the congressional plan violated Oregon Revised Statutes § 188.010(2), which provides that "[n]o district shall be drawn for the purpose of favoring any political party, incumbent legislator or other person," and § 188.010(1) because the Legislative Assembly ignored traditional redistricting criteria like respecting political subdivision boundaries and preserving communities of interest to effectuate the partisan gerrymander. Petitioners also alleged the plan violated their Freedoms of Speech, Assembly, and Participation under article I, §§ 8 and 26 of the Oregon Constitution because it negatively impacted their rights to participate in the political process, to express their political views, to affiliate or support a political party, and to cast a vote. Finally, petitioners asserted the plan also violated the Oregon Constitution's Privileges or Immunities Clause (article I, § 20) and Free and Equal Elections Clause (article II, § 1) because those clauses both prohibit the legislature from drawing and adopting a partisan gerrymandered redistricting plan. The petitioners sought a judicial declaration that the congressional plan violated both the Oregon Constitution and state law, an injunction barring the plan from being implemented or used in any future elections, and for the court to require the adoption of a new, lawful redistricting plan.

On November 5, 2021 the court-appointed Special Master released their recommended findings of fact and report. On November 24, 2021 the court issued an opinion upholding the plan and dismissing the petitioners' challenge. The court rejected the petitioners' statutory claim on the grounds the enacted plan was "within the range of plans" that had been adopted by the legislature and Oregon courts in the past and the Legislative Assembly did not make any line-drawing decisions that "no reasonable legislature" would have made. The court also rejected the petitioners' constitutional claims, finding the petitioners had failed to sufficiently support their claim that the plan had an impermissible partisan effect.


Oregon Circuit Court, Marion County - No. 21CV40180