Oklahoma Supreme Court

Attorney John Hunsucker stands next to a breath testing machine.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

A court decision earlier this week might keep the state from revoking thousands of driver’s licenses.

Monday's ruling means the outcome of a breathalyzer test that leads to criminal charges can't be used to take away someone's driving privileges, The Journal Record’s Dale Denwalt reports:

The Oklahoma Judicial Center houses the state Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals and the Administrative Office of the Courts.
Trevor Brown / Oklahoma Watch

Anti-abortion laws. A Ten Commandments monument at the State Capitol. An overhaul of the workers’ compensation system.

Controversial rejections of all or parts of these legislative actions by the Oklahoma Supreme Court – coupled with a push by national and state conservative groups – have led to a steady march of bills over the past decade that would alter the process for choosing state Supreme Court and Appeals courts justices.

Oklahoma Supreme Court chambers
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously ruled Tuesday a citizen-led effort to outlaw abortion in the state is unconstitutional.

In the ruling, the state’s high court cited the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which upheld the constitutional right to an abortion.

Truman Elementary School library
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Oklahoma’s Supreme Court ruled that a proposal for a one-cent sales tax to fund education may go on the ballot for a statewide vote. The court’s decision on Tuesday struck down a challenge by OCPA Impact, who argued the initiative embraced more than one subject and therefore violated the state constitution.

The proposal contains seven sections. They include:

  1. The creation of the Oklahoma Education Improvement Fund.

Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The Oklahoma Supreme Court Monday reaffirmed its decision that a Ten Commandments monument must be removed from the capitol grounds. The high court denied Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s request for a rehearing.

The state supreme court justices found nothing of merit to rehear the case. They ruled on June 30 that the monument was in violation of the state constitution’s ban on using public money for religious purposes. 

American Civil Liberties Union legal director Brady Henderson says he expected the court’s decision to reaffirm.

Supreme Court
Mark Fischer / Flickr

The end of June was a busy few days for both the state and federal judiciary. As the U.S. Supreme Court wound down its term, opinions in some of the widest-reaching cases came in the final few days.

But a lot of the reasons behind all of this began years ago.

Death Penalty Dispute

Ryan LaCroix / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

The Oklahoma Supreme Court's decision to order a Ten Commandments monument removed from the state Capitol grounds has so angered conservatives in the Legislature that some Republicans are calling for justices to be impeached. Others want to amend the Bill of Rights in the 108-year-old state constitution.

The outcry immediately followed the court's 7-2 decision Tuesday that the monument violates the Oklahoma constitution's ban on using public property to benefit a religion.

Courtroom entrance.
Serge Melki

Tougher requirements could soon arrive interpreters inside Oklahoma's courtrooms.

The Tulsa World reported Friday that several current interpreters are seeking stronger guidelines from the state Supreme Court.

Sebastian Lantos of the Oklahoma Board of Courtroom Interpreters has wanted a change for more than a decade. He says unqualified people can derail the judicial process, even if they don't mean to.

Gov. Mary Fallin delivers the 2014 State of the State address as Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R-Lawton) look on - February 3, 2014.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

The state's highest court says Oklahoma governors have a privilege to protect confidential advice from top officials while deliberating policy and making executive decisions.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court said in a ruling released Tuesday the governor has a unique executive privilege that can't be encroached by the Legislature.

The decision was handed down Tuesday in a case filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma on behalf of the owners of a satirical website that pokes fun at Gov. Mary Fallin and other public officials.

Oklahoma City attorney and legislative watchdog Jerry Fent, who has successfully challenged laws in the past, comes out of a hearing room at the State Supreme Court, where a referee heard his lawsuit over House Bill 2562.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

An Oklahoma Supreme Court referee is set to hear arguments at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday about whether a planned $120 million bond issue for improvements to the Capitol building should proceed.

Oral arguments are scheduled to take place Tuesday before Supreme Court Referee Greg Albert, who will compile a report and forward it to the full court.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has elected John Reif of Tulsa to serve as the high court's new chief justice, effective Jan. 1.

The court announced the results of its elections on Tuesday. The nine-member court also elected Justice Douglas Combs of Shawnee as vice chief justice.

Reif will replace Chief Justice Tom Colbert, who will rotate out of the chief justice position.

Oklahoma City attorney and legislative watchdog Jerry Fent, who has successfully challenged laws in the past, comes out of a hearing room at the State Supreme Court, where a referee heard his lawsuit over House Bill 2562.
Joe Wertz / StateImpact Oklahoma

A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of legislation that cut Oklahoma's top income tax rate is being taken up by the state's highest court.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments Tuesday in a lawsuit that asks the court to invalidate the legislation and prevent it from going into effect.

The lawsuit was filed by Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent, who has successfully challenged other legislation in the past.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court says Republican state Rep. Fred Jordan of Jenks is eligible to become Tulsa County's district attorney, even though a raise for prosecutors was approved during his term in the Legislature.

In a 5-1 ruling on Friday, the state's highest court ruled that a provision of the constitution did not apply to Jordan, since he wouldn't become district attorney until after his legislative term ends.

Oklahoma state Capitol
LLudo / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

An attorney says the Oklahoma Legislature engaged in "unprecedented expansion" of its authority when it passed legislation repealing Common Core education standards for English and math.

Attorney Robert McCampbell made the comments Tuesday during oral arguments before the state Supreme Court in a lawsuit that alleges the legislation is unconstitutional.

steakpinball /

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has upheld a $47.7 million judgment awarded to the state over the sale of illegal contraband cigarettes.

The state's high court ruled Tuesday against Native Wholesale Supply, a company chartered by the Sac and Fox Tribe of Oklahoma. The state Attorney General's Office had requested the judgment be deposited into the Oklahoma Tobacco Settlement Endowment Fund.