Oklahoma High Court Justice Downplays Rift Talk

Sep 29, 2013

Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Colbert
Credit State of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Despite some barbs from legislators in recent weeks over the judiciary's power in Oklahoma, the chief justice of the state's highest court downplayed the suggestion of tension between the two branches of government.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Colbert tells The Associated Press he doesn't see a conflict between the legislative and judicial branches and says the court, legislative leaders and the governor have a "good working relationship."

Republican House Speaker T.W. Shannon of Lawton has called for a legislative study on the idea of both term limits for judges and the effectiveness of the judicial selection process.

Colbert also defended the current process in which the Judicial Nominating Commission provides three names to the governor for selection, saying the system "works extremely well."