Someone once said, “No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session.” Now the people of Oregon are beginning to see just how far their politicians will go to serve themselves at public expense.
Top of the list: Kill term limits. But these honorables know that 70 percent of their voters want term limits. They don’t want to appear too self-serving. So, Oregon’s career politicians are trying what they think is a brilliant idea: use the courts to overturn the law. You see, Oregon judges have recently been rewriting the initiative laws to block measures opposed by politicians but passed by voters. These rulings have made it possible for Oregon judges to strike down almost any constitutional amendment.
Legislators, who could have clarified the judicial haze, are instead exploiting it. They suspended their usual legislative business to pass a new bill designed for only one purpose: to allow an immediate lawsuit against the voters of Oregon over term limits. Just recently, a judge played along, striking down the term limits amendment, saying that congressional term limits and state legislative term limits were not, “closely related” enough to pass muster. Just one problem: that same ex post facto legal reasoning would also scuttle as many as 40 other constitutional amendments. Let’s hope the Oregon Supreme Court will end the insanity.
But, at least now we know that career politicians are happy to legislate their state governments into chaos, if that’s what it takes for them to stay in power. Quite a case for term limits, eh?
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.