SALEM — Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum intensified her legal battle on Wednesday, July 29, against a ballot measure that would put the redrawing of political district lines into the hands of a nonpartisan commission.
Rosenblum asked U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan to issue an emergency stay blocking attempts to put the measure on the November ballot in Oregon.
In her legal filing, Rosenblum said U.S. District Judge Michael McShane erred when he issued a July 10 ruling that gave the anti-gerrymandering measure a clear path to the ballot. McShane said the state needed to lower its signature threshold because the pandemic made it too hard for the proposed constitutional amendment to qualify.
McShane’s ruling “encroaches on the state’s sovereign authority to determine for itself the process by which its own constitution can be amended,” Rosenblum wrote.
The two chief sponsors of the measure represent the Oregon League of Women Voters and the Oregon Farm Bureau.
McShane extended the deadline for gathering signatures from July 3 to Aug. 17.
Secretary of State Bev Clarno, a Republican, accepted McShane’s decision.
Rosenblum, a Democrat, appealed.
A three-judge panel for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals refused Rosenblum’s request for an emergency stay of McShane’s decision and has scheduled oral arguments for Aug. 13.
In her filing with the Supreme Court, Rosenblum said it is unclear whether the 9th Circuit would act before the state needs to finalize the ballot for the November election.