State Question No. 752 – Judicial Nominating Committee

October 12, 2010 Posted by zachary

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.

Vote No

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