State Chamber of Oklahoma Releases Supreme Court Judicial Evaluations

Article excerpt

Saying he just wanted to provide voters with more information, the president of the State Chamber of Oklahoma released the group's first judicial evaluations of the state's Supreme Court justices.

Chamber CEO Fred Morgan, who served as minority floor leader in the Oklahoma House of Representatives several years ago, said the rankings were generated for the Oklahoma Civil Justice Council, a group created by the chamber.

Morgan, however, declined to name the council's members or its board of directors.

Morgan said the evaluations were needed by voters.

"We think that the public needs more information," he said. "Our members have asked us to be more engaged in that evaluation and in those retention areas - they want more information. It's vitally important for all Oklahomans to have information about how these cases, which often impact everyone in our state, are decided."

Though in Oklahoma appellate judges are appointed by the governor, they are required to stand for public vote every four years via a judicial retention ballot.

Morgan said the evaluations were performed by the Judicial Evaluation Institute of Washington, D.C. He said the study was analyzed by attorneys in Oklahoma, but he refused to say who those attorneys were. …