Poll Shows Support for Electing Oklahoma's Appellate Judges

August 30, 2013

According to a poll funded by the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, 74 percent of Oklahoma voters favor choosing appellate judges in contested elections over a merit selection and retention process, and 69 percent support amending the constitution to make this change. Seventy-six percent of respondents want term limits for appellate judges. The poll was conducted two weeks after the state supreme court struck down a comprehensive tort reform law and was prompted by legislative efforts to change the way appellate judges and justices are selected.

Seven states whose appellate judges stand for retention have an official program to provide voters with information about judges' on-the-bench performance, but Oklahoma is not among them. However, the Oklahoma Civil Justice League has launched its own evaluation process based on how appellate judges rule on civil liability issues.