Author: Merit Replaced ‘Cash-and-Carry’ Oklahoma Justice System

Darvocet-Stack-of-Cash-GavelToo few Oklahomans know today about a state Supreme Court scandal in the 1960s that paved the way for today’s merit-based system for appointing top judges, author and attorney Bob Burke told an audience in Enid, according to an Enid News & Eagle article.

The state was known for its “cash-and-carry justice system,” Burke said about the elected court of that era. “There was no independent judiciary. It was who brings the most money … And there are a handful of legislators who want to return to the days when the Supreme Court was in the grip of party politicians and special interest groups.”

Legislators unhappy with court decisions have proposed shifting to the election of judges and also have proposed changes to the judicial nominating commission method in place (see Gavel Grab). Burke is a co-author of a book titled “How bad it was, how good it is : the value of an independent Oklahoma judiciary.”