Oklahoma Observer Substack
If It Ain't Broke

If It Ain't Broke

There’s a wise old saying, if ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Excellent advice, of course, but often difficult for the Oklahoma Legislature to follow. So it was this spring as lawmakers seriously debate dismantling the state’s excellent system of selecting appellate judges – the Judicial Nominating Commission.

On Tuesday, thankfully, the House rejected SJR 34, the latest effort to pack the state’s highest courts with rightwing, big money-controlled jurists, a hyper-partisan, venal process akin to the dark days of the early 1960s when scandal wracked the state Supreme Court. However … it’s important remember that some bad bills never are truly dead; in fact, all-too-often they are revived last-minute through a series of late-night, parliamentary contortions. In this case, the House sponsor, Claremore Rep. Mark Lepak, vowed to continue the fight to fix what ain’t broken.

For our latest Observercast – If It Ain’t Broke – eminent historian, author and attorney Bob Burke and former state Rep. David Perryman, an attorney whose seen up-close this ongoing assault on an independent judiciary, join us to discuss why the campaign to undermine the JNC is bad for Oklahoma – and what can be done to keep lawmakers from putting a for sale sign on the state’s highest courts.

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