KGOU

Oklahoma Supreme Court

Oklahoma state capitol
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

Will the Oklahoma Legislature get behind a cigarette tax in the upcoming special session?

INSAPPHOWETRUST / FLICKR

The Oklahoma Supreme Court upheld a 1.25 percent sales tax on motor vehicles Thursday.

InSapphoWeTrust / Flickr

The Oklahoma state Supreme Court ruled Thursday a sales tax on motor vehicles is constitutional.

Sue Ogrocki / AP Photo

The Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma has ruled that a fee on cigarettes approved during the 2017 legislative session is unconstitutional.

cigarettes
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

The Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma has ruled that a fee on cigarettes approved during the 2017 legislative session is unconstitutional.

Oklahoma Supreme Court chambers
Jacob McCleland / KGOU

The Oklahoma Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in three lawsuits challenging revenue raising measures passed last legislative session. The nine-member court will decide on the constitutionality of the $1.50 cigarette fee and the 1.25 percent sales tax increase on vehicles, among others on Tuesday.


Oklahoma Secretary of Finance Preston Doerflinger speaks during a meeting of the State Board of Equalization in Oklahoma City, Monday, June 20, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma’s state budget took effect July 1, and hinges on the outcome of several lawsuits before the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The cases question the constitutionality of revenue raising measures including the $1.50 cigarette fee and 1.25 percent sales tax increase on motor vehicles. If the state Supreme Court rules the measures are unconstitutional, the legislature could reconvene to again try to fund core services.  

 

cigarettes
Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Following the 2017 Oklahoma Legislative Session, several lawsuits have emerged challenging the constitutionality of revenue raising measures. Laws in question include the $1.50 cigarette fee, 1.25 percent sales tax increase on vehicles, among others.

 

An attorney who successfully argued against the constitutionality of a 2010 health care fee says the current lawsuits have similarities to the case he won seven years ago.

MilitaryHealth / Flickr Creative Commons

 

The Oklahoma Supreme Court hears arguments August 8 in the case over the state’s new $1.50-per-pack cigarette fee.

Patrick Wyrick, state solicitor general, gestures as he speaks during an Oklahoma Supreme Court hearing in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 21, 2011.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has picked her state’s solicitor general to serve as the newest member of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Patrick Wyrick, 35, has been the solicitor general in the state attorney general’s office since 2011. He will succeed Steven Taylor, who is retiring.

Wyrick will serve as a justice from Oklahoma’s 2nd Judicial District, which encompasses much of southeastern Oklahoma.

Patrick Wyrick, state solicitor general, gestures as he speaks during an Oklahoma Supreme Court hearing in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, June 21, 2011.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

The Oklahoma Supreme Court will have a vacant seat in January, and a handful of people hope to fill the position, including a top aide to Attorney General Scott Pruitt.

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.

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