OKC Legal Briefs September 11, 2003

Article excerpt

G.T. Blankenship will receive Rogers State University's 17th Constitution Award on Monday at a ceremony at the Claremore school.

Blankenship is an attorney and a former state attorney general. He is chairman of the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents.

I believe the Constitution says what it meant to say, he said. I don't believe it should be a living document. Too often, the provision of the founding fathers in our Constitution have been eroded by judicial interpretation.

He was selected to receive the award by the RSU Constitution Award Board of Governors. Marian P. Opala, vice-chief justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court and a member of the board of governors, will present Blankenship with the award. Opala received the award in 1996.

Each fall since 1987, RSU has presented the Constitution Award to an Oklahoman who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the principles of the Constitution.

The award has been presented to Carl Albert, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives; Henry Bellmon, former Oklahoma governor and U.S. senator; Adm. William J. Crowe, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom; David Boren, president of the University of Oklahoma, and former U.S. senator and Oklahoma governor; Judge James O. Ellison, senior U.S. district court judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma; and Alex Adwan, senior editor for the Tulsa World. Last year, the award was presented to Judge Thomas R. Brett, senior U.S. district court judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma.

Blankenship received a law degree from OU in 1954. In 1960, he was elected to the state House of Representatives and served as minority floor leader from 1964-66. Blankenship was elected attorney general of Oklahoma and served from 1966 until 1970. Since then, he has been in private legal practice in Oklahoma City and has served as chairman of the board of the Bank of Nichols Hills.

He was appointed to the OU Board of Regents by Gov. Henry Bellmon in 1990 and was reappointed by Gov. Frank Keating in 1997. He currently is in his last of 14 years (two terms) on the OU Board of Regents, the governing board for RSU.

The Constitution Award luncheon and ceremony are sponsored by the Bank of Commerce. Tickets are $20 per person. To buy tickets or learn more, call the RSU development office at (918) 343-7773.

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