After controversial decisions on abortion, homosexual marriage and religious liberty, the retention vote for three Oklahoma Supreme Court justices could bring some changes.
Since the retention system was changed decades ago, no Supreme Court Justice has lost a retention vote. In most elections, two-thirds of the voters say yes to retention while about one-third vote no.
This court has overturned laws to restrict abortion in Oklahoma. They previously squashed an initiative petition that sought to put the issue of “personhood” for unborn babies on a statewide ballot. The justices ordered the removal of a Ten Commandment Monument from the State Capitol even though the U.S. Supreme Court approved display of a similar monument at the Texas Capitol in Austin.
Last week, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled in favor of the homosexual agenda again and granted expanded rights to homosexuals who are nonbiological parents.
A case in Oklahoma City involved a lesbian whose partner had a child they both lived with until they ended their “partnership.” A lower court ruled that the lesbian who bore the child has full custody and that the other lesbian must end her relationship with the child.
“Public policy dictates that the district court consider the best interests of the child and extend standing to the nonbiological parent to pursue hearings on custody and visitation,” the ruling stated.
The justices who will be on the ballot next November for a retention vote are:
- Justice Steven W. Taylor in District 2
In 2004, former Gov. Brad Henry appointed Taylor to the Oklahoma Supreme Court. He was born in Henryetta and went to school in McAlester, where he later practiced law.
- Justice James R. Winchester in District 5
Winchester was appointed to the court by former Gov. Frank Keating in 2000. A Clinton native, he is a part of the current “Leadership Oklahoma” class.
- Vice-Chief Justice Douglas Combs in District 8
Combs, who is from Shawnee, was appointed by former Gov. Brad Henry in 2010 following the retirement of Justice Rudolph Hargrave of Wewoka. Combs is a member of the Muscogee Creek Nation.
Some justices on the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals and the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals will also be on the statewide ballot in November of 2016.