Aug. 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday blocked a lower court ruling easing a signature threshold for an Oregon group seeking to place a redistricting reform measure on the November ballot.
The high court granted a stay against injunctions issued by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals requested by Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to block the change to signature requirements for an amendment to overhaul the process for drawing congressional and legislative maps in the state.
In July, a group known as People Not Politicians proposed the amendment seeking a ballot measure that would create a citizens' redistricting commission to draw congressional lines.
The group said that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was unable to collect the in-person signatures necessary to place the measure on the November ballot.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane ruled that the group should face a lower threshold and Oregon Secretary of State Bev Clarno lowered the threshold from 150,000 to 59,000.
Rosenblum appealed the ruling, stating that it "encroaches on the state's sovereign authority to determine for itself the process by which its own Constitution can be amended."
"Changing the rules for initiatives by judicial fiat, this late in the election cycle only for one privileged measure, is legally unsupportable and fundamentally unfair," Rosenblum said.