Oregon voters may toss constitutional ban on duels

Proposal had its first hearing Wednesday

Douglas Hamilton, left, a fifth-great-grandson of Alexander Hamilton and Antonio Burr, right, a descendant of Aaron Burr's cousin, fire their pistols during the re-enactment marking the 200th anniversary of the Hamilton-Burr duel, in Weehawken, N.J., Sunday, July 11, 2004. The July 11, 1804, duel left Hamilton mortally wounded and the sitting vice president's reputation sullied. (AP Photo/Marko Georgiev)
Douglas Hamilton, left, a fifth-great-grandson of Alexander Hamilton and Antonio Burr, right, a descendant of Aaron Burr's cousin, fire their pistols during the re-enactment marking the 200th anniversary of the Hamilton-Burr duel, in Weehawken, N.J., Sunday, July 11, 2004. The July 11, 1804, duel left Hamilton mortally wounded and the sitting vice president's reputation sullied. (AP Photo/Marko Georgiev)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — In the next general election, Oregon voters may be asked to make an usual change to the state Constitution that harkens back to that famous summer day in 1804 when a bitter rivalry between Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton and U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr was settled with a fatal gunshot.

Senate Joint Resolution 44 would repeal Article II, Section 9 from the Oregon Constitution, which says anyone who offers, accepts or knowingly participates in a duel can’t hold public office.

The proposal had its first hearing Wednesday and Republican Sen. Brian Boquist, its chief sponsor, said it’s one of several archaic laws that just don’t make sense in modern times. That measure and other proposals in Salem have an April 18 deadline to clear their initial committees.