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Oregon Constitutional Convention? Two Opinions

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The Oregon State Bar (OSB) May 2009 Bulletin poses the question: “An Oregon Constitutional Convention?

James Westwood weighs in, YES, we do need a new constitution:

Excerpt: “The Oregon Constitution hardly deserves the name, and not just because it is fouled by scores of items and thousands of words that belong in a statute book, if anywhere. The Oregon Constitution describes a structure of government that proves the Massachusetts Federalists got it right and the Oregon Jacksonians didn’t. The dysfunctional government our narrow founders gave us in 1857 was “cured” a century ago by an even less functional overlay — the popular initiative — that empowers the unthinking and gives political rule to the unaccountable. Oregon deserves better than that….” (read full article)

Charles Hinkle weighs in, NO, we don’t need a new constitution:
Excerpt: “Every now and then someone suggests that Oregon needs a new constitution. In the early 1950s, several legislators concluded that the 1857 constitution was out of date and too long. They argued that several of its sections belonged in the statute books, not in a constitution. In 1959, the legislature referred the question to the voters: Shall a new constitution be drafted? Voters at the 1960 general election approved the proposal, and a 17-member commission was appointed, including many of the leading political, business, legal and academic figures of the day….” (read full article)

Previous post on the Oregon Constitutional Convention (and 2009 HB A 2009 HB 2620) — (and here too).

Related topic: Oregon Ballot Measure Archive Project, about which I will blog again in the not to distant future.

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