State Question 752 adds two new members to the Judicial Nominating Committee and changes some requirements for those who are selected as members.
This measure amends a section of the Oklahoma Constitution. It amends Section 3 of Article 7-B. The measure deals with the Judicial Nominating Commission. This Commission selects nominees to be appointed judges or justices, when a vacancy occurs. The Commission selects three, sometimes four, qualified nominees. The Governor must appoint one of the nominees. The amendment adds two at-large members to the Commission. At-large members can come from any Oklahoma congressional district. The Senate President Pro Tempore appoints one of the new at-large members. The Speaker of the House of Representatives appoints the other. At-large members can not be lawyers. Nor can they have a lawyer in their immediate family. Nor can more than two at-large members
be from the same political party.
Six non-at-large members are appointed by the Governor. They cannot be Oklahoma lawyers. The measure adds a new qualification for non-lawyer members. They can not have a lawyer from any state in their immediate family. Each congressional district must have at least one non-lawyer member. Six lawyer members are elected by members of the Oklahoma Bar Association. Each congressional district must have at least one lawyer member.
I feel that these changes are unnecessary. The committee already consists of 12 members 6 of whom are not selected by the Governor. I feel that this question was drafted in an attempt at preventing conflict of interest, but does not meet those desires.
Additionally, I think that adding new members would simply complicate the process further than it already is.