- Ada, Oklahoma


November 18, 2013

Are judicial term limits coming to the Oklahoma Supreme Court?

Ada —

A major issue on the horizon is whether to limit the terms of office of members of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.  Currently, justices are appointed for a life term and residents vote to retain judges every six years.  Since the retention system was put into place in 1969, no judge has been removed through the process.

Last session, Senator Clark Jolley and Representative Jason Murphey proposed a constitutional amendment that would limit a judge’s tenure to twenty years.  The measure passed the Senate but was not heard in the House Judiciary Committee.  The 70 people who had the pleasure of listening to Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon’s speech on ECU’s campus this month learned that the issue is not dead.  Speaker Shannon seems to be a strong proponent of judicial reform, explaining that when the Oklahoma Supreme Court acts to strike down legislation, they act as a “superlegislature.”  For example, the legislature recently passed workers' compensation reform.  The Supreme Court struck down the law because it didn’t meet certain requirements such as the single-subject rule.  Consequently, the legislature held a special session to pass a new set of workers' compensation laws.

Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Noma Gurich also spoke on ECU’s campus recently.  It should come as no surprise that, as a sitting judge, she would be skeptical of judicial term limits.  Gurich cited two practical concerns.  First, a larger turnover in judges would lead to more changes in the law.  When the law changes, people can’t count on it.  Second, attorneys who become judges must basically quit their law practices when they go to the bench.  If a lawyer becomes a judge but can only serve for twenty years, it is possible that he or she may have to return to private practice.  This would be difficult for judges and would reduce the number of people who would applying for judicial vacancies.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Jerry Duncan The roll call of the misfits

     The roll call of the faithful in Hebrews 11 is designed to inspire us and give us hope. Comparing our difficulties with theirs gives us some perspective when the problems of life feel overwhelming. There are some pretty terrible and overwhelming struggles described there. 


    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kaylin Cullum Guest Columnist Where the sidewalk ends

    I remember getting the call one night three years ago. One of my best friends had been hit by a car.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Letter to the Editor

    Dear editor

    April 16, 2014

  • Money, Money, Money, Money, Money

    Whenever James Truslow Adams coined the term “the American Dream,” he probably never envisioned the nightmare that it would become. 

    April 11, 2014

  • Lyin' Eyes

    When I was down in Brazil, I went into a shop to practice my Portuguese and buy a Pepsi. 

    April 9, 2014

  • Jerry Duncan How Is Your Adventure Going?

    I love Steven Curtis Chapman’s music, at least, most of it. Before my last trip to Romania, I recorded some favorite tunes from different artists that spoke something I needed for the trip. The words to his song, "The Great Adventure" were perfect for me.


    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Art Lawler Inflexible thought is a growing problem

    You remember the Dixie Chicks, of course. The band that told foreigners how embarrassed we were of President George Bush?


    April 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who deserves the praise?

    “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven.”— Matthew 6:1

    April 4, 2014

  • Let the circle be unbroken

        “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.”
       — Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

    March 26, 2014

  • Jerry Duncan How’s the search going?

    Robert McGee’s The Search for Significance has been out now since 1987.

    March 19, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest

For years, Oklahoma was a mostly Democratic state. In recent years, there has been a swing to Republican affiliation. Have you changed your political affiliation to Republican?

     View Results