The Oregon Supreme Court has decided that former New York Times columnist, and Democrat Nicholas Kristof, cannot campaign for governor of the state.
The ruling came on Thursday as the court decided he did not meet the residency requirements, which he said he would not challenge, CNN reported.
The Oregon Secretary of State last month ruled that Kristof was ineligible to run for governor because he had not lived in the state for three years prior to the upcoming election, citing that Kristof had been a New York resident up until December 2020.
The Oregon Supreme Court upheld the Secretary of State’s decision with a unanimous ruling, despite Kristof’s attempt to challenge the decision.
“Today, in a mandamus proceeding initiated by relator Nicholas Kristof, the Oregon Supreme Court held “resident” in Article V, section 2, took its meaning from the legal concept of domicile, that is, the place where a person lives with the intent to remain indefinitely. The Court further held, applying that interpretation of “resident” and under the legal standards that apply in mandamus proceedings, that the Secretary of State had not been compelled to accept relator’s candidacy for governor in the upcoming 2022 election, and, therefore, that relator was not entitled to a writ to that effect,” the court said.
“Relator filed a declaration of candidacy for governor with the Secretary of State. The Elections Division reached out to the relator’s campaign, seeking additional information concerning whether he could satisfy the requirement, contained in Article V, section 2, of the Oregon Constitution, that a governor “have been three years next preceding his election, a resident within this State.” Relator responded with a packet of information, including an affidavit from the relator detailing his connections to Oregon.
“The secretary determined that relator did not satisfy the constitutional residency requirement, concluding that he had been a resident of New York State from the early 2000s until December 2020. In a letter to relator explaining that decision, the Elections Division relied on the facts that relator had been registered to vote in New York from 2000 to December 2020, that he had maintained a New York driver’s license over the same period of time, and that he had lived primarily in New York, among other evidence,” it said.
The journalist said he would respect the court’s decision.
“The Supreme Court has spoken. And while we are disappointed in the decision, we respect its ruling and thank the justices for their thoughtful consideration on this matter,” he said.
“It’s clear that the framers of the Oregon Constitution understood that residency means an Oregon ‘domicile,’ and that you can only have [one] domicile at a time,” she said after her filing. “Not only do the objective facts demonstrate that Mr. Kristof was not domiciled in Oregon until late 2020 … They would create irrational results; for example, under the rule, Mr. Kristof proposes, a person would be eligible to run for Governor, or serve as Governor, in two different states at the same time.”
If Kristof were to be considered a “resident within” Oregon without actually residing in the state, she argued, would mean that someone could be “elected Governor of Oregon while continuing to vote and live out of state … Construing residency so broadly that it allowed those scenarios would undermine the reasons for adopting any residency requirement at all.”
“It’s clear they did not intend to allow a person to serve if they had been a permanent resident of another state during the years just before their election,” she said in her argument.
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