Oklahoma Chief Justice Warns Judges of Bills' Impact

Jul 17, 2014

Tom Colbert
Credit State of Oklahoma

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma's chief justice is warning judges across the state that dozens of bills introduced in the Legislature this session would have had a "lethal and devastating" effect on the state's court system if enacted into law.

Chief Justice Tom Colbert urged judges Wednesday at the 2014 Judicial Conference in Norman to talk to their constituents, and especially to local legislators, about the impact of some of the proposed changes.

Among the bills Colbert highlighted were several that made radical changes to how judges are selected and retained — including measures that would eliminate special judges, impose term or age limits or require certain appellate judges to have 60 percent of the vote on a retention ballot.

Other measures would have redirected millions of dollars from the court's budget