SENATE COMMITTEE ON RULES

 

 

April 29, 2003 Hearing Room 343

3:00 PM  Tapes 42 - 43

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:            Sen. Kate Brown, Co-chair

Sen. Bev Clarno, Co-chair

Sen. Jason Atkinson Vice-chair

Sen. Ginny Burdick Vice-chair

Sen. Roger Beyer

Sen. Tony Corcoran

 

STAFF PRESENT:                  Jim Stembridge, Committee Administrator

Pam Cox, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:            HCR 4A – Public Hearing and Work Session

                                                HJR 42 A – Public Hearing

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 42, A

005

Chair Clarno

Calls committee meeting to order at 3:08 p.m. and opens a public hearing on HCR 4A.

HCR 4A – PUBLIC HEARING

007

Jim Stembridge

Committee Administrator.  Summarizes HCR 4A.

010

Hardy Myers

Attorney General.  Offers information on former governor, Robert William Straub recognizing his contributions to the state and expresses that he does not know anyone that was more decent and honorable than Bob Straub.

025

Michael Tolley

Legislative Assistant for Rep. Mary Nolan.  States that Rep. Mary Nolan is a sponsor of the bill. States that Bob Straub was a bold leader and explains offers quotes, (EXHIBIT A).

050

Chair Clarno

Closes the public hearing on HCR 4A and opens a work session on HCR 4A.

HCR 4A – WORK SESSION

051

Sen. Brown

MOTION:  Moves HCR 4A be sent to the floor with a BE ADOPTED recommendation.

052

 

VOTE:  4-0

EXCUSED:  1 - Sen. Burdick

 

Chair Clarno

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

SEN. BROWN will lead discussion on the floor.

056

Chair Clarno

Closes the work session on HCR 4A and opens the public hearing on HJR 42A.

HJR 42 A – PUBLIC HEARING

159

Judge Gillette

Justice, Oregon Supreme Court.  Testifies in opposition of HJR 42A explaining the negative affects this bill would have and that the bill is not needed. 

190

Sen. Atkinson

Asks if there is any chance of political appointments by past governors.

198

Gillette

Notes those serving in the judicial arena are very capable men and women.

202

Rep. Patridge

House District 6.  Testifies in support of HJR 42A and offers information on how judges are appointed in Oregon and states that the people have no opportunity in the initial appointment of a judge.

263

Sen. Brown

Offers a scenario and asks if judicial appointments would become less political than today.

264

Rep. Patridge

Answers a minority party interest would have an opportunity to have a voice.

301

Sen. Brown

Expresses concern that if the legislature becomes involved in overseeing the Governor’s appointments to the judicial branch would the process become more political.

302

Rep. Patridge

Responds that in the current system it is a political process, it is an office that is appointed by a political officer of the state.

312

Sen. Brown

States at the federal level judicial appointments have become very political.

320

Rep. Patridge

Expresses we are all Oregonians and the only person who is involved in the process is the Governor’s Office. There is no challenge mechanism in place.

342

Sen. Brown

Asks is the ballot box inadequate.

345

Rep. Patridge

States anyone can run for the legislature but a lawyer has to pass the bar. Argues that it is an unchallenged lifetime appointment in Oregon.

363

David Denecke

Attorney, Portland/American Judicature Society.  Explains the Society was formed to help with the administration of Judicial selection and has been long standing with how judges are to be appointed (EXHIBIT B).

403

Sen. Brown

Asks if in terms of judicial ethics do judicial candidates have an opportunity to discuss specific issues behind closed doors with the governor’s committee.

TAPE 43, A

064

Deneke

Answers they would be unable to discuss any issue which is before them or likely to come before them.

067

Sen. Brown

Asks is a judicial appointment is an appointment for life or is that changing.

075

Denecke

Answers he does not know how many judicial challenges there have been.

085

Tom Kranovich

Chairman, Judicial Administration Committee/Oregon State Bar.  Testifies in opposition of HJR 42A. Explains that times are changing and expects to see challenges based on rulings that judges make. Comments on slowing down the process even more.

121

Marilyn O’dell

Assistant, Attorney General.  Appearing as a member of Oregon State Bar Judicial Administration Committee. Discusses the selection process of judges.

219

Sen. Corcoran

Asks what did the candidates references include.

221

O’dell

Answers references were comprised of other judges, other practitioners, clients and legislative members. Inform the committee that each county has unique issues that the election process should not change.

265

Barbara Fredericks

League of Women Voters of Oregon.  Testifies in opposition of HJR 42A and offers information on how judges are elected in all areas of government. Explains what the Constitution says about judicial elections.  Submits written testimony (EXHIBIT C).

358

David Fidanque

American Civil Liberties Union, (ACLU) of Oregon.  Testifies in opposition of HJR 42A and explains that this bill when measured against the federal system is quite different. This process would create a separation of powers.

437

Sen. Burdick

Asks how are judges perceived on the federal level.

438

Fidanque

Federal judges are appointed for life and states there have been controversial appointments that has increased pressure on the US Senate.

TAPE 42, B

059

Sen. Brown

Asks if incumbent judges have an advantage.

063

Fidanque

Responds not always.

065

Chair Clarno

Closes the public hearing on HJR 42A and re-opens the work session on HCR 4A.

HCR 4A – WORK SESSION

097

Chair Clarno

MOTION:  Moves to SUSPEND the rules for the purpose of allowing SEN. BURDICK to be recorded as voting AYE on HCR 4A.

 

Chair Clarno

Hearing no objection, declares the motion CARRIED.

069

Chair Clarno

Closes a work session on HCR 4A and re-opens a public hearing on HJR 42A.

HJR 42A – PUBLIC HEARING

102

Robert Neuberger

Attorney in Private Practice. Member, Multnomah Volunteer Bar Association.  Testifies in opposition of HJR 42A and explains the procedures of interviewing applicants. States that his agency screens judicial applicants and comments to the decision makers. Comments that the bill is going in the wrong direction (EXHIBIT D).

200

Sen. Brown

Notes the battle of the election of judgeship in Multnomah County.

204

Neuberger

States the procedures their committee has set.

235

Sen. Brown

Asks how long Mr. Neuberger has been practicing and asks why HJR 7 did not pass.

246

Neuberger

Answers he does not know what happened to it.

250

Susan Russell

Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.  Testifies in opposition of HJR 42A and states the process in place works well and the election process has check and balances

277

Steve Dole

President, Crime Victims United, Citizen of Oregon.  Testifies in support of HJR 42A. States the bill gives people a voice. Comments on other people’s testimony.

453

Chair Clarno

Closes the public hearing on HJR 42A and closes the committee meeting at 4:40 p.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – HCR 4A, written testimony, Michael Tolley, 2 pp

B – HJR 42A, written testimony, David Deneke, 1 p

C – HJR 42A, written testimony, Barbara Fredericks, 2 pp

D – HJR 42A, written testimony, Robert Neuberger, 5 pp