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Oregon Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Nicholas Kristof’s Appeal Expeditiously

The Democratic candidate for governor hopes the court will reverse Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s decision he doesn’t meet Oregon’s residency requirement.

The Oregon Supreme Court this afternoon announced it will hear Democratic candidate Nicholas Kristof’s appeal of his disqualification from the May ballot.

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan ruled Jan. 6 that Kristof does not meet the three-year residency requirement the Oregon Constitution lays out for candidates for governor.

The court laid out a schedule asking Kristof to file his brief by Jan. 14; the Oregon Department of Justice, which represents Fagan, the state’s top elections officer, to reply by Jan. 20; and for Kristof to respond to Fagan’s reply by Jan. 26.

The court will make its decision based on the briefs and will not hear oral arguments.

One interesting note from today’s announcement: Justice Chris Garrett recused himself from the court’s decision to take the case, according to a court spokesman, and he will not take part in the court’s deliberations on the briefs.

Garrett, a former state representative from Lake Oswego, worked for the Perkins Coie law firm for 11 years prior to being appointed to the Oregon Court of Appeals in 2014.

At Perkins Coie, Garrett worked with Kristof’s attorneys, Misha Isaak and Tom Johnson. Isaak served as counsel to Gov. Kate Brown from 2015 to 2020 and in that time vetted Garrett and three of the other current Supreme Court justices Brown appointed.

The court will begin its consideration of the question of whether Kristof should be on the ballot Jan. 27. There is no set timetable for the court to arrive at its decision.