Oregon residents are subject to Oregon state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Oregon as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Oregon also has its own state laws. Oregon state laws include the Oregon Constitution, laws passed by the Oregon legislature and periodically codified in the Oregon Revised Statutes, and decisions by courts that interpret Oregon laws.
Ratified in 1857, the Oregon Constitution took effect when Oregon became a state two years later. The Constitution is famous for providing broader free speech protections than the U.S. Constitution. Article XVII of the Constitution provides the process for making revisions to the document, which are more fundamental changes than amendments. Meanwhile, Article IV describes the requirements for initiated amendments, including a rule that signatures on petitions may not be paid. Article XVIII outlines the process for legislatively referred amendments, which require a majority vote in each chamber of the legislature before appearing on a ballot. This Article also provides general rules for constitutional conventions.
The Oregon Revised Statutes contain the laws passed by the Oregon legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Oregon Constitution are often interpreted by the Oregon Supreme Court and the Oregon Court of Appeals. The federal Oregon District Court also issues decisions that may affect Oregon residents. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by the Oregon District Court. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Ninth Circuit or from the Oregon Supreme Court.