On August 18, 2011, the Oregon Court of Appeals denied my request for non-PERS judges to decide whether certain PERS regulations are valid. If those regulations are not valid, no PERS member would receive the PERS pick up and they could not use their unused sick leave to determine their PERS retirement benefit. Additionally, Tier One PERS members, who were hired before 1996, would not get a guaranteed minimum return on their PERS accounts. The Court of Appeals judges are all PERS members, so they have a directly, financial conflict of interest in this case.
So, on September 16, 2011, I filed a request with the Oregon Supreme Court to make the Court of Appeals judges disqualify themselves and to have temporary, non-PERS judges appointed to decide the case. I previously asked the Oregon Supreme Court to do the same thing in another case, last year, but it declined to do so.
It is absolutely unfair for Oregon law to require that all PERS related lawsuits to be decided by PERS judges. It was not that way in 1945, when PERS was first created, because the judges had their own separate retirement plan. Judges were not in PERS until PERS members in the Oregon legislature changed the law to require all persons who became judges after 1983 to join PERS and offered a 7% salary increase to every pre-1984 judge who willing to join PERS.
I am fighting this unfair situation and will continue to do so until its examined and ruled on by judges who do not have a financial stake in the outcome of the case. To borrow words from President Reagan, this is what I am asking the Oregon Supreme Court to do: Oregon Supreme Court, TEAR DOWN these unfair PERS laws and restore fundamental fairness and justice to the people of Oregon.