Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OK Supreme Court Appeal Filed in Candidacy Challenge

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

OK Supreme Court Appeal Filed in Candidacy Challenge

Article excerpt

The first test of Oklahoma's term-limit law was filed Tuesday with the Oklahoma Supreme Court in a case challenging the candidacy of Sen. Angela Monson, D-OKC.

Attorney Fred Leibrock said that a referee hearing has been set for 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 21. In his petition, he asked the court to hear the case and to require the State Election Board to strike Monson from the ballot.

"Senator Monson is prohibited by legislative term limits from completing the Senate term that she seeks," Leibrock said in his petition. "She is therefore not qualified to be a candidate and her name must be stricken from the ballot."

Monson's candidacy was upheld by the election board at a hearing earlier this month.

Leibrock had argued on behalf of Republican Revanelle Earnest, Monson's only opponent for Senate District 48, that the senator is not eligible to serve another full four-year term. The board disagreed.

Leibrock said that under the Oklahoma Constitution a state senator must hold office for four years, and Monson cannot do that.

"It requires service of four years," he said.

The attorney said he knows of no other races that would be affected by term limits this year as is Monson's.

"In the future, it's going to affect anyone who's switched from one house to the other," he added.

Since statehood, he said, about 32 individuals have switched houses, with about a dozen elected to fill unexpired terms. Leibrock said he believes there are a few who could be affected during upcoming election cycles as he contends Monson is this year.

Under the term limit law, a person can serve only 12 years in the House, the Senate or a combination of both. Approved by voters in 1990, it has been generally accepted that the law "kicked in" with terms that began with the general election in 1992. The limitation does not apply to periods of time lawmakers have been appointed or elected to serve out an unexpired term, or to the terms legislators were serving on the effective date of the act. …

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