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Rep. Nearman Expelled from Legislature
“It’s June 10, we’re three weeks from the end and this building is still closed”

The Oregon House of Representatives has voted to expel Representative Mike Nearman (R-Independence) for his December 21, 2020 exiting of the Capitol which allowed people into the building. Criminal charges have been filed against Nearman, who has maintained that the Capitol should be open during the legislative session. No legislator has ever been expelled from the body in the history of the State of Oregon.

The case has made national news as a video -- recently leaked from evidence in the trial against him -- has come to light showing him speaking to a group from Oregon Citizens Lobby about entering the Capitol during one of the 2020 special sessions.

Article IV, Section 15 of the Oregon Constitution describes expulsion from the Legislature. "Either house may punish its members for disorderly behavior, and may with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member; but not a second time for the same cause."

In his speech on the motion to expel him, Nearman read the portions of the Oregon Constitution which talk about the right of the people to instruct their legislators and the requirement that legislative deliberations be open to the public. He chided the assembly for keeping the Capitol closed:

"It’s June 10 and we’re three weeks from the end of the session and this building is still closed to the public. After the afternoon floor session this afternoon, we’re all going to go out to dinner, or stop at the grocery store, or tomorrow go shop for clothes or get our oil changed, because all of those places are open. But not this building."

Democrats brought the motion to expel Nearman in a surprise move just days before he was scheduled to appear before the House Committee on Conduct on a complaint that he created a hostile work environment. The expulsion vote required a 2/3 majority, so at least three Republicans were needed to vote to expel. The vote was unanimous, except for the vote of Nearman, who voted not to expel himself.

--Staff Reports

Post Date: 2021-06-10 20:01:34Last Update: 2021-06-10 20:58:21

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