Should laws be applied according to the color of the glass used to view them?

Should laws be applied according to the color of the glass used to view them?

2 months 3 weeks ago
#13547
The Oregon legislature, with a Democratic majority, approved its Rule 113, by which state senators who have been absent 10 or more times in a year from legislative sessions will be disqualified from being candidates to be re-elected.

This involves 10 Republican senators, who appealed to the State Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of the law, by which these 10 senators will not be able to run for re-election in November.

We have seen, both in state legislatures and in the federal Congress, the notable absenteeism of many legislators, therefore it is a good thing that there are rules that place restrictions on this absenteeism. We vote for our legislators so that they are active and not so that they earn their salaries without properly taking care of the interests of those who elected them.

On the other hand, laws must serve a clear and constructive purpose rather than being used to further partisan political objectives. In this case, the first thing that stands out is that those punished by the law are all Republican state senators. It is surprising that the absenteeism that the law seeks to punish only affects one party, especially a minority party in that State.

Therefore, it is logical to ask: Why those guilty of absenteeism are all Republicans? We just have to delve a little into the facts to discover that the move has not been as transparent as it seems. These senators, all Republicans, were absent so many times from legislative proceedings because, at the request of minority leader Tim Knopp, they walked out of the Senate floor as an act of protest against the laws that the majority was proposing and approving without any negotiation with the minority opposition on issues that Republican senators considered directly affecting their ethical principles.

Therefore, the absenteeism in this case was not a lack of responsibility but rather a measure of protest hoping to transcend to the voting population at large. They were able to stall the passage of this legislation making it impossible for the vote to proceed because there was not a sufficient quorum as a result of their walk-out.

Indeed, the text of this rule does not contemplate a proper exception to the usual legislative action of walking out of the room in protest when the majority party refuses to negotiate. Therefore, it is a defective rule that only serves to reaffirm the dictatorship of a legislative majority.

And that is exactly what is happening in Oregon.
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