Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Supreme Court Says Ten Commandments Must Come Down, GOP Lawmakers Suggest Impeachment

The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday the Ten Commandments monument at the state Capitol has to be removed because it violates the state constitution’s ban on using public property to benefit a religion. Justices ruled 7-2 the monument erected in 2012 indirectly benefits Judeo-Christian faiths because the Ten Commandments are “obviously religious in nature.” Attorney General Scott Pruitt disagreed with the ruling, saying the state’s high court incorrectly interpreted Article 2, Section 5...
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Supreme Court Upholds Use Of Execution Drug

Jun 29, 2015

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court has upheld the use of a controversial execution drug.

The case was brought by a group of Oklahoma inmates who argued that a drug used by the state constituted cruel and unusual punishment because it did not guarantee that prisoners would be unconscious when additional drugs were administered to stop their hearts.

The drug was used in three botched executions last year that appeared to leave prisoners in excruciating pain. The court ruled that the Oklahoma prisoners did not prove that a better drug was available.

A water line for hydraulic fracturing crosses an oil-field access road in Woods County, Okla.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A federal judge in Wyoming this week delayed the start of new rules for fracking on federal lands, issuing a temporary stay to give the federal government more time to explain how it developed the rule, The Hill and Casper Star-Tribune report.

OG&E's coal-fired power plant in Muskogee, Okla.
Granger Meador / Flickr

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday blocked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to curb mercury and other toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants across the country.

House Majority Leader Carl Albert (D-Okla.) sits in the Oval Office with President Lyndon Johnson.
Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library

Southeast Oklahoma is an unusual place, politically. Many southerners settled in the area after the Civil War, leading to its nickname “Little Dixie.”

Through the 20th century, it became the center of political power in Oklahoma, and the Democratic Party dominated politics well into the late 1990s. Decades after the formerly “Solid South” had switched to the Republican Party, Democrats enjoyed an 8:1 voter registration advantage in southeast Oklahoma.

Updated at 10:46 a.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, says the sedative used in Oklahoma's lethal injection cocktail does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

Here's the background to the case, in the words of SCOTUSblog:

Dr. Ervin Yen holds a prescription for Midazolam
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

The Supreme Court upheld Oklahoma’s lethal injection protocol Monday. The case centered on a single drug, midazolam, that’s now used as part of a three-drug cocktail. Critics claim it is unreliable during executions and cannot produce a “deep, coma-like state” on a regular basis.

But in hospitals across Oklahoma, the drug is being used by anesthesiologists very frequently.

University of Oklahoma President David Boren says a recent story questioning the integrity of the university and the Oklahoma Geological Survey is “a bald-faced lie and some of the most inaccurate reporting I’ve ever seen in my life.”

It's been 70 years since a nuclear bomb was used in war, but in spite of that passage of time, it still has a great deal of relevance as a strategic construct even if they are unlikely to ever be used. Countries that possess nuclear weapons can pursue a more aggressive projection of power and a more aggressive foreign policy than they might be able to do otherwise.

Former Tulsa County Sheriff's reserve deputy Robert Bates enters the Tulsa County Jail.
Matt Trotter / KWGS Public Radio Tulsa

An ex-Oklahoma volunteer sheriff's deputy who fatally shot a restrained and unarmed man has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

Defense attorney Clark Brewster told The Associated Press Friday that his client, Robert Bates, waived his right because the basic facts of the case are not in dispute. The former Tulsa County Sheriff's Office reserve deputy has pleaded not guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the death of Eric Harris on April 2.

Bates declined to comment outside of court Friday. He is next due in court July 6.

tedeytan / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court has legalized gay marriage in all 50 states. In a 5-4 decision Friday, the justices struck down bans on gay marriage that were in place in several states across the country.

Same sex marriage has been legal in Oklahoma since October 6, 2014, but neighboring states like Texas and Arkansas have enforced bans.

Read the decision from Obergefell v. Hodges

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