1996 Oregon Ballot Measure 40 and subsequent measures

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Ballot Measure 40 was an Oregon ballot measure in 1996. The measure brought sweeping reforms to Oregon's justice system, generally in an effort to promote victims' rights.

Measure 40 passed with 58.8% of the vote, but was overturned by the Oregon Supreme Court in 1998, on the grounds that it contained more than one amendment to the Oregon Constitution.[1]

Measure 40 case precedent has since been cited as the basis for overturning several voter-approved initiatives. Among these are term limits for state office-holders in 2002 and Measure 3, the Oregon Property Protection Act of 2000.

Kevin Mannix, the state legislator behind Measure 40, shepherded many of its provisions through the Legislature as statutory enactments (in Senate Bill 936 of 1997) while Measure 40 was being considered in the courts, placing many of the constitutional provisions of Measure 40 into statutory law.[2]

Armatta v. Kitzhaber[edit]

The 1998 Oregon Supreme Court ruling Armatta v. Kitzhaber[1] was a landmark decision for constitutional amendments. A similar decision in California, Jones, had recently upheld the "single subject rule," which essentially states that a single constitutional amendment measure cannot affect more than one subject in the Constitution.[3]

But the Oregon decision went further, stating that a constitutional amendment cannot affect more than a single clause of the Constitution, even if multiple clauses affect the same subject. The decision has had a significant impact on the way initiative drafters have approached their work in the years since.[3]

Subsequent related measures[edit]

Mannix subsequently brought seven more measures (Measures 69-75) to voters in 1999 via legislative referral, each originally part of Measure 40. All seven would have amended the Oregon Constitution. Four of the measures were approved by voters. Campaigns for these measures were primarily funded by conservative millionaires Loren Parks and Mark Hemstreet.

passed? Yes No % Ballot Title
69 YES 406393 292419 58.15 Grants Victims Constitutional Rights In Criminal Prosecutions, Juvenile Court Delinquency Proceedings
70 NO 289783 407429 41.56 Gives Public, Through Prosecutor, Right To Demand Jury Trial In Criminal Cases
71 YES 404404 292696 58.01 Limits Pretrial Release Of Accused Person To Protect Victims, Public
72 NO 316351 382685 45.26 Allows Murder Conviction By 11 To 1 Jury Verdict
73 NO 320160 369843 46.4 Limits Immunity From Criminal Prosecution Of Person Ordered To Testify About His Or Her Conduct
74 YES 368899 325078 53.16 Requires Terms Of Imprisonment Announced In Court Be Fully Served, With Exceptions
75 YES 399671 292445 57.75 Persons Convicted Of Certain Crimes Cannot Serve On Grand Juries, Criminal Trial Juries

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Armatta v. Kitzhaber Archived 2009-03-25 at the Wayback Machine, 327 Or. 250, 959 P.2d 49 (1998)
  2. ^ "Desperate Measures". Willamette Week. October 20, 1999. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-12. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  3. ^ a b Manweller, Mathew (2005). The People Vs. the Courts: Judicial Review and Direct Democracy in the American Legal System. Academica Press. pp. 220–221. ISBN 1-930901-97-6.

External links[edit]