| June 13, 2013

All three branches disappoint on lawsuit reform

The Oklahoma Supreme Court is “not a court at all,” Oklahoma City University law professor Andrew Spiropoulos writes today in the Journal Record, but rather “an unaccountable political body that, without sufficient legal justification, routinely imposes its political will on the elected branches of government and the people.” Professor Spiropoulos, who serves as our Milton Friedman Distinguished Fellow at OCPA, continues:

The latest exercise of partisan overreaching is the court’s evisceration of the comprehensive lawsuit reform legislation enacted in 2009 after years of debate and multiple elections. …

Almost as disappointing as the court’s abuse of its power were the reactions, ranging from the mute to the lame, of our elected leaders. Our leaders received a rare opportunity to show Oklahomans why elections – and political movements – matter. We needed the governor, joined by the speaker of the House and the Senate president pro tempore, to come before the press and public to declare their outrage at these politically motivated decisions. The governor should have called a special session to re-enact the legislation and announced a blue-ribbon task force to devise a comprehensive reform of our judicial selection process.

Instead, we got pathetic statements that they needed to review the opinion. Most savvy people will conclude that the governor and legislative leaders were never serious about the importance of lawsuit and judicial reform. Advocating reform was just a way for the politicians to bilk campaign cash from business and doctors and votes from gullible citizens. I hope to be proven wrong.

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