Friday, October 21, 2022

Fair and Williams publish voters guide on judicial retention ballot

Conservative activists Steve Fair and Georgia Williams, both from southwestern Oklahoma, have published a brief voters guide since 1995, discussing the various state questions, judges, and justices on Oklahoma's statewide ballot every election cycle. The following information comes from their judicial retention ballot guide for the Chisholm Trail Shopper in Duncan. 


Oklahoma Supreme Court
  • Justice James Winchester: Retain Do Not Retain (changed upon further research)
  • Justice Douglas Combs: Do Not Retain
  • Justice Dustin Rowe: Retain
  • Justice Dana Kuehn: Retain
Court of Civil Appeals
  • Judge John Fischer: Do Not Retain
  • Judge Thomas E. Prince: Retain
  • Judge Stacy Hixon: Retain
  • Judge Barbara G. Swinton: Retain
  • Judge Gregory Blackwell: Retain
Full detail:

How are Oklahoma’s appellate court judges and justices appointed?
All judges and justices on the three courts of last resort in Oklahoma are appointed by the Governor of Oklahoma.  But they must first go through a ‘nominating’ process conducted by the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission.  The commission submits three candidates to the governor, who must select from the three.  After nomination by the governor, they must be confirmed by the State Senate.

Who is on the Judicial Nominating Commission? 
There are 15 members- six appointed by the governor (must not be lawyers or have lawyers in their family).  No more than three of the governor’s appointments can be people with the same political party affiliation.  The Oklahoma Bar Association appoints six members (a lawyer from each Congressional district).  There is one appointment by the Speaker of the Oklahoma House and one by the Oklahoma Senate President Pro Tempore (cannot be a lawyer)and the last member selected by the other 14 members.   Commission members serve 6 year terms.  The Chairman of the Commission is elected by the membership and serves a one year term.  Commission members cannot be an official within a political party or an elected official during their term and for five years after their term ends.  They are not paid, but are reimbursed for travel expenses.  

Where do you find information on the judges/justices?
It is very difficult to find information on the judges and their ideology.  Two of the courts of last resort have websites where they publish their decisions. 
The Oklahoma Supreme Court website is: 
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal appeals website is:
The Oklahoma Court of Civil decisions can be viewed at Justia.  That website is:  

Their political affiliation is not public information.  The judicial conduct code prevents the judges/justices from campaigning, which limits voter information on their individual ideology/values/philosophy.   

How many judges/justices are up for retention in November?
There are nine up for retention.  Four on the Supreme Court, five on the Court of Civil Appeals.

Has a judge/justice ever not been retained?
No, since Oklahoma began judicial retention, no judge/justice has not been retained.


Oklahoma Supreme Court

The Oklahoma Supreme Court is composed of nine justices who are appointed by the governor and then must stand for retention by voters thereafter. A full term on the court is six years. Retention elections take place during Oklahoma's general elections, which are held every two years in even-numbered years. The nine justices of the Oklahoma Supreme Court are appointed by the governor from a list of three names compiled by a nominating commission and serve initial terms of at least one year.[1] If voters opt to retain an appointee during the next general election, that judge will go on to serve either a full six-year term or to serve out the unexpired term of his or her predecessor. 

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court makes $185,245 per year, Associate Justices, $173,469.  This is after a 7.67% raise in 2022. 

To access information on decisions made by the Supreme Court, go to 

There are four members of the Supreme Court on the November ballot.  Information on each justice is below and our recommendations:

RETAIN DO NOT RETAIN (changed upon further research)



There are two lawsuits pending before the Oklahoma Supreme Court challenging Oklahoma’s pro-life legislation.  Tamya Cox, Executive Director of the Oklahoma ACLU chapter, has stated, "we now turn to our state Supreme Court to uphold our rights."   How those lawsuits are progressing through the system can be monitored at:


The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals is an intermediate appellate court in the state of Oklahoma, with the Oklahoma Supreme Court as the final court of recourse for civil matters. The Court of Civil Appeals consists of 12 judges in four divisions. The Supreme Court may choose to release the lesser court's opinions for publication, which grants these cases precedent value. The Court of Civil Appeals is made up of four divisions, each composed of three Judges. Two divisions of the Court of Civil Appeals are located in Oklahoma City, and two are housed in Tulsa. Two of the three judges may choose to reaffirm, modify or overturn any ruling of any lower court. However, if the Oklahoma Supreme Court disapproves of the court's ruling, it may review the decision and change it as the court deems necessary. Cases are assigned to the Court of Civil Appeals from the Oklahoma Supreme Court.  The presiding judge makes $167,383 annually, the other judges $164,339 after a 7.67% raise in 2022.

For information on decisions rendered by the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals go to  
There are five judges of the Court of Civil Appeals on the November ballot.  Information on each judge is below and our recommendations:






1 comment:

  1. This is mostly correct, but I would NOT retain Swinton as she used to be a Democrat and only recently became a Republican for her appointment to the appellate bench. She also used to work for Riggs Abney which has funded national liberal candidates for President including the Clintons.


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