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KEEP OUR COURTS FAIR AND IMPARTIAL

Our goal is to ensure that every Oklahoman has access to a fair and impartial court system, where there is
no bias, prejudice or political influence.

RETENTION BALLOT QUESTIONS

Why are Supreme Court justices, The Court of Criminal Appeals judges and the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals judges on the ballot this year?

Oklahoma Supreme Court justices and the judges of the two other appellate courts are on the ballot in nonpartisan elections every six years so voters can determine whether they should stay in office. This regular vote is called “merit retention.” This year, four Supreme Court justices (out of nine), three Court of Criminal Appeals judges (out of five) and four Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals judges (out of twelve) have merit retention elections.

What do "Yes" and "No" votes mean?

A “Yes” vote means you want the justice or judge to stay in office. A “No” vote means you want the justice or judge to be removed from office. The majority of voters decides.

Do Supreme Court justices and the judges of the other two appellate courts have opponents?

No. Your vote will determine whether each justice or judge listed on the ballot should stay in office. They are not running against opponents or each other. Merit retention elections are non-partisan.

How do Supreme Court justices and the judges of the other two appellate courts get into office?

The governor appoints them from lists submitted by Judicial Nominating Commissions, which screen candidates and make recommendations based on the merits of applicants.

Newly appointed justices and judges who have served 12 months must appear on the ballot during the next general election. They next appear on a ballot at the end of the term to which they were originally appointed. Thereafter, they appear on a retention ballot every six years.

COURTFACTS OKLAHOMA

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This website has been created by the Oklahoma Bar Association to provide facts about the third branch of government and accurate non-partisan information to Oklahoma voters.

Read biographies about justices and judges on the retention ballot, read their opinions and determine each judge’s quality and clarity of opinions, knowledge of the law and freedom from bias.

Also, learn more about Oklahoma’s judicial selection process and how it eliminates politics from the judicial system