Activist Judges Overturns Property Right Referendum in Oregon
Hat Tip: Ron J.
This past Friday, a judge in Oregon ruled that voter passed property compensation law, Measure 37, was unconstitutional.
Marion County Circuit Judge Mary James struck down the law as violating five provisions of the state and federal constitutions.
The law, passed as Measure 37 on the November 2004 ballot, requires that state and local governments either compensate land owners when regulations lower property values or waive the rules.
James said the statute violates equal protection provisions of the Oregon Constitution and a state constitutional ban on suspending laws.
Statement from Gov. Kulongoski
She also ruled it breaches the separation of powers between government branches, “intrudes on” legislative authority and violates due process protections under the U.S. Constitution.
The Chutzpah of these judges!
Rob Kremer has the following to say about the overturning of Measure 37:
The recent Supreme Court decision that said live sex shows are protected speech had to somehow make the argument that a paid sex act constitutes ??expression of opinion.?? Just what opinion might that be? Any reasonable person who reads Section 8 must conclude that the framers were referring to written and spoken opinion, not lewd acts. Yet the courts are so in love with the free speech rights that they expansively interpret it.
Not so with our property rights. If they can do the mental contortion necessary to convince themselves that a live sex act is an expression of opinion, then certainly they could be equally protective of our right to property, say, by acknowledging that regulating the entire productive use of your land away in order to achieve some public purpose just might be a ??taking.??
But no, the courts care not a whit about property rights, so they narrowly construe the definition so as to allow government to steal property value again and again.
Right on, Rob!