Straus v. Rosenblum
On November 4, 2014, voters in Oregon overwhelmingly rejected a law passed in 2013 that would grant driver’s license cards to illegal aliens. Ballot Measure 88, which put Senate Bill 833 up for voter approval, was defeated by a landslide of more than 66% of voters. IRLI represented Measure 88’s sponsor, Oregonians for Immigration Reform (OFIR), a local group whose mission is to support enforcement of immigration law. OFIR initiated the referendum of the law by working tirelessly to gather over 71,000 signatures in just a few months to get Measure 88 on the ballot. This issue is important because driver’s licenses draw in illegal aliens by making life more practicable.
On behalf of OFIR, IRLI helped draft the ballot title, summary of law, and questions presented to voters that was ultimately chosen by the state attorney general and certified by the secretary of state for the ballot. Many times, the ballot language is all that voters see on an issue and is thus critical to winning any measure.
IRLI also defended the ballot language when several illegal alien advocacy groups challenged the language in the Oregon Supreme Court. The illegal alien advocates brought the court challenge to IRLI’s version of the text, hoping to remove critical language that indicated that SB 833 would allow illegal aliens to receive driver’s licenses. The Oregon Supreme Court ultimately ruled to uphold the ballot text as originally certified by the Oregon Secretary of State.