A five-judge special judicial panel has upheld the congressional redistricting plan passed by the Oregon Legislative Assembly during its September special session.
The panel released a unanimous opinion Wednesday, Nov. 24, dismissing a petition challenging the plan, finding that the Legislative Assembly met all legal requirements to create fair, representative maps.
“The Legislature has done its job,” Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) said. “I’m glad that our product was taken to the courts. This map went through a very thorough and objective review. A panel of judges found the work we’ve done has followed the law. I think the Legislature can say we did very well.”
In Clarno v. Fagan, the special judicial panel dismissed a challenge to the recently-enacted redistricting plan redrawing the boundaries of Oregon’s congressional districts and inserting a sixth district received by Oregon following the 2020 U.S. Census. The panel, consisting of judges from each of Oregon’s five current congressional districts, found that the plan was based on public input and met all constitutional and statutory requirements.
“The Special Judicial Panel agreed that the congressional map we passed met Oregon’s redistricting standards,” Senator Kathleen Taylor (D-Portland) said. Taylor chaired the Senate Committee on Redistricting. “The Senate Redistricting Committee worked tirelessly under a very tight schedule to redraw Oregon’s congressional districts and add our first new district in 40 years. The Legislature has once again succeeded in its duty to give better representation to our communities by redrawing districts in a way that was fair and inclusive of public input.”
The Nov. 24 decision comes after a Nov. 22 opinion by the Oregon Supreme Court, dismissing two challenges to the recently-passed redistricting plan for Oregon’s state legislative districts.