Conservative Index Add
pagetitle

Thursday, July 19th, 2018Last Update: Friday, June 1st, 2018 10:41:02 AM

(Letter to the Editor)

By: Constitution Staff

State Judicial Misconduct

Much has been said and written, in many locations, about the "judicial activism" that has been repeatedly exhibited by the judges on the Federal benches, and with much justification. Now we have seen just such a blatant example of the same conduct by a majority of judges sitting on the Oklahoma Supreme Court. This was in the decision by a 7 - 2 majority to rule that a monument listing the "10 Commandments" could not remain on the grounds of the State Capitol. The "reasoning" stated was a provision in the State Constitution which is quoted as prohibiting the use of "public money" on a religious supporting purpose on State property. This was despite the truth that the monument was entirely paid for by one family, the head of which happens to be my State Representative, as well as a personal physician and flight surgeon. The original monument was destroyed by a deranged "anti-Christian' with a vehicle and replaced with a duplicate, again paid for by the family.

However, it has occurred to me that at least part of the fault must lie with the statutory system in place for choosing the judges. In my opinion, it is totally incestuous in that when there is a vacancy, five judge candidates are nominated by a committee made up of members of the Oklahoma Bar Association. The Governor then is required to nominate from those candidates. It seems to me that a more fair and proper committee make-up would be one or two members from the Bar, one named by each of the Legislature houses, and one by the chair of each of the political parties recognized by the state Election Board. This would give the PEOPLE more of an input in the matter.

Here are the judges and how they voted on the monument case

(the appointing Governor and appointment year are shown):

Yvonne Kauger 9 (George Nigh: 1984) Voted against Ten Commandments.

Joseph Watt (David Walters: 1992) Voted against Ten Commandments.

James Winchester (Frank Keating: 2000) Voted against Ten Commandments

James Edmondson (Brad Henry 2003) Voted against Ten Commandments

Steven Taylor (Brad Henry 2004) Voted against Ten Commandments

Tom Colbert (Brad Henry 2004) Dissented (for Ten Commandments)

John Reif (Brad Henry: 2007) Voted against Ten Commandments

Noma Gurich (Brad Henry 2010) Voted against Ten Commandments

Doug Combs (Brad Henry 2010) Dissented (for Ten Commandments)

Subsequent news stories indicated that talk had begun among Legislators about the possibility of mounting an impeachment challenge over this as a violation of their oath of office. However, it does not seem to be gaining as no more has been seen or heard. It is my opinion that this would be unwise, unless the votes were ASSURED in both houses to bring such charges to a successful conclusion. A failed attempt would, I fear, only serve to embolden those judges to further "legislate from the bench" and render even more, and worse, miscarriage of justice decisions.

Three of these justices faced retention votes in 2014: Douglas L. Combs, Steven. Taylor, and James Winchester. Based on this decision, a NO vote for Taylor and Winchester would be recommended. Unfortunately for Oklahoma citizens, there has yet to be an appointed judge not retained by vote. Last year a campaign was mounted to NOT retain Civil Appeals Judge Jane Wiseman, which drew the highest NO vote in history.

Robert W. McDowell, Jr.

Broken Arrow, OK

Other Stories From Fall 2015 Issue

The Boren Identity: Surprised by Someone I Completely Disagree

Andrew K. Boyle
It is easy to complain about government. Our system of self government is well suited for the cranky...

The Federal Page (Fall 2015)

Theodore King
Planned ParenthoodIn March 2012, pro-life activist and founder of Operation Rescue, Randall Terr...

Did the Grinch Steal the Monument?

Richard Engle
On September 11, 2015 an Oklahoma County District Court ordered that the Ten Commandments monument...

Stopping President Obamas Federally Funded Curriculum and the Expansion of Government Control

Linda Murphy
President Obama said, If you like your school with local control you can keep your school with...

Oklahoma Personal Asset Protection Act SB 838

Kaye Beach
State Senator Kyle Loveless (R-Oklahoma City) is the author of Senate Bill 838, the Personal Asset...

Four of a Kind

Steve Byas
President Calvin Coolidge once said, It is better to kill a bad bill, than to pass a good one....

Growing a Backbone

John Michener
The human backbone begins developing during the first few weeks of an embryos existence in the...

The Senate Transparency Conundrum

Rep. Jason Murphey
Regular readers of the states appropriations bill were greeted by something new as they opened...

Thomas Sowell Interview

Brandon Dutcher
In an excellent interview which recently appeared in The Wall Street Journal, the economist Thomas...

Tidbits for Fall 2015

Constitution Staff
Jari Askins Takes New PostGovernor Mary Fallin announced September 18 that Jari Askins, speci...

(Letter to the Editor)

Constitution Staff
State Judicial MisconductMuch has been said and written, in many locations, about the judicia...

Special Elections for Vacancies in Legislature

Constitution Staff
One vacant legislative seat was recently filled and candidates have filed for the special election...

Cathy Costello Highlights 2015 Defenders of Liberty Awards

Constitution Staff
Cathy Costello, widow of the late Labor Commissioner Mark Costello, accepted the Samuel Adams...

Gerhart Conviction Overturned

Constitution Staff
A couple of years ago, Oklahoma Constitution editor Steve Byas wrote in his column, concerning the...

Pam Pollard Elected Republican State Chairman

Constitution Staff
Pam Pollard Elected Republican State Chairman...

In The News

Constitution Staff

Federal Offices on 2018 Ballot
The U.S. Congress is composed of two chambers. Senators serve six-year terms with only a third of...

Constitution Staff

State Offices Attract Candidates
In non-presidential election years, the governors office, a host of secondary statewide offices, and...

Constitution Staff

Candidates File for Oklahoma Legislature
The candidate filing period for the Oklahoma Legislature this year was April 11-13. Oklahomas...

Constitution Staff

Special Elections for Legislature Come to an End
After an election on March 6, Special Elections for the Oklahoma Legislature are now complete. The...

Constitution Staff

Oklahoma State Legislators Rated
The Oklahoma Constitution presents the 40th annual Oklahoma Conservative Index, rating our state...

Constitution Columnists

Tony Lauinger

Abortion: There Is No Silver Bullet
The right to life is a God-given right, and the lives of unborn children should be protected by law....

Steve Byas

Christians and Government
When I read the words of the Apostle Paul, in Romans 13:1-5, penned under the inspiration of the...

Steve Byas

The Teacher Strike
It was called a walkout, or perhaps even a protest, but make no mistake about it, it was a strike....

© 2001 - 2009 The Oklahoma Constitution, all rights reserved.
Contact the Oklahoma Constitution by calling 405-366-1125 or emailing okconsti@aol.com
Content Management System (CMS) provided by WebTeks CMS.