ORS 251.235¹
Supreme Court review of explanatory statement
  • service requirements

(1) Any person dissatisfied with an explanatory statement for which suggestions were offered at the Secretary of State’s hearing under ORS 251.215 (Preparation and filing of explanatory statement of measure) may petition the Supreme Court seeking a different statement and stating the reasons the statement filed with the court is insufficient or unclear. If the petition is filed and served as required in subsection (2) of this section not later than the fifth day after the deadline for filing a revised statement with the Secretary of State, the court shall review the statement and certify an explanatory statement to the Secretary of State. Failure to file and serve the petition within the time prescribed in this subsection precludes Supreme Court review and certification of an explanatory statement. If the court considers the petition, the court may allow oral argument. The review by the Supreme Court shall be conducted expeditiously to ensure the orderly and timely conduct of the election at which the measure is to be submitted to the electors. The statement certified by the court shall be the explanatory statement printed in the voters’ pamphlet.

(2) At the time a person petitions the Supreme Court under subsection (1) of this section, the person also shall serve a copy of the petition on:

(a) The Attorney General;

(b) The members of the explanatory statement committee, if the committee filed a statement under ORS 251.215 (Preparation and filing of explanatory statement of measure);

(c) The chief petitioners of the state measure, if the measure was initiated or referred by petition; and

(d) The Legislative Counsel, if the measure was referred by the Legislative Assembly or if the explanatory statement prepared by the Legislative Counsel Committee is the explanatory statement for the measure under ORS 251.225 (Preparation and filing of explanatory statement by Legislative Counsel Committee). [Formerly 254.230; 2001 c.18 §1]

(formerly 254.230)

Notes of Decisions

Explanatory Matter Was Insufficient and Unclear and Therefore Modified By the Court Where

(1) Language therein stated some, but not all, of the funds that could be used for mass transit if the constitu­tional amend­ment passed; and (2) an explana­tion re­gard­ing a percentage limita­tion on highway funds which could be devoted to mass transit failed to point out that it was only a statutory limita­tion which could be changed by legisla­tion or initiative peti­tion at any time. Sundeleaf v. Myers, 268 Or 302, 520 P2d 438 (1974)

Peti­tion for review of initiative explanatory state­ment prepared by Legislative Counsel Committee was denied where it was not filed within statutory time period, which is jurisdic­tional. Anderson v. Paulus, 283 Or 237, 583 P2d 534 (1978)

This sec­tion does not require Supreme Court to settle disputed meaning of ballot measure beyond assuring that proposed explanatory state­ment is not “insufficient.” MacAfee v. Paulus, 289 Or 651, 616 P2d 493 (1980); June v. Roberts, 310 Or 244, 797 P2d 357 (1990)

Peti­tioner has burden of showing beyond reasonable argu­ment that explanatory state­ment is insufficient. June v. Roberts, 310 Or 244, 797 P2d 357 (1990)

Explanatory state­ment is insufficient and unclear when terms used in state­ment differ completely from phrasing of ballot title. Sollis v. Hand, 310 Or 251, 796 P2d 1188 (1990)

To be “insufficient,” misleading language within explanatory state­ment must remain misleading when read in context of entire explanatory state­ment. Novick v. Bradbury, 331 Or 14, 10 P3d 254 (2000)

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 251—Voters’ Pamphlet, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors251.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
2 Legislative Counsel Committee, Annotations to the Oregon Revised Stat­utes, Cumulative Supplement - 2019, Chapter 251, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ano251.­html (2019) (last ac­cessed May 16, 2020).
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent. Currency Information