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Oregon 2009 House Bill 2343 (Change to Rape Law) and Think Out Loud

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2009 HB 2343 (also from the Legislature’s webpage). (Note, an engrossed bill has not yet passed both Chambers; an enrolled bill has and awaits the Governor’s signature.)

Compiling a legislative history and determining legislative intent means going beyond what legislators say themselves, to looking at what people say to legislators. Legislative hearings are important to follow, but one also needs to read the reports that are submitted to legislative committees. These are not always online and a trip to the Oregon Legislative Archives to read the bill files, exhibits, and minutes can be a fascinating journey into the legislative process. Nowadays, one can find more of those reports online, from advocacy groups, nonprofits, lobbyists, and others who submit position papers to legislators.

I don’t often catch the excellent Think Out Loud program, but did today, almost in full, wonder of wonders. It was a fascinating look into statutory interpretation and construction. The specific Think Out Loud program was: Change to Oregon Rape Law?

Guests on the show included:
Sara Gelser: Oregon state representative (D-Corvallis) and sponsor of HB 2343
Christine Herrman: Executive director of the Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force
Janet Hoffman: Criminal defense attorney with the firm Hoffman Angeli

Not only was the program riveting and informative, but if the bill passes, a transcript of the Think Out Loud program might play an interesting role later on when the court has to interpret the statute in an actual case.

Previous OLR blog posts about legislative history and my Legal Research Guide: Compiling an Oregon Legislative History from the Washington County Law Library’s website.