Republicans Want Oklahoma Supreme Court Judges Impeached

If you had the Oklahoma Supreme Court judges in the “who will the Republicans demand be impeached next” pool, please come down to collect your winnings. Seven of the judges on the court agreed that the Ten Commandments monument at the state capitol violated the state constitution, so naturally they have to go.

Oklahoma Republican representatives Tuesday called for judicial reform and the impeachment of seven Oklahoma Supreme Court justices who ruled that the 10 Commandments statue be removed from the Oklahoma Capitol, according to a news release.

The representatives who support impeachment are Kevin Calvey, Oklahoma City; John Bennett, Sallisaw; Casey Murdock, Felt; Lewis Moore, Edmond; Dan Fisher, Yukon; and George Faught, Muskogee. Mike Sanders, Kingfisher, supports judicial reform but not impeachment.

“Our state Supreme Court is playing politics by issuing rulings contrary to the Constitution, and contrary to the will of the clear majority of Oklahoma voters,” Calvey said in the release. “These Supreme Court justices are nothing more than politicians in black robes, masquerading as objective jurists. This ruling is the Court engaging in judicial bullying of the people of Oklahoma, pure and simple. It is time that the people chose jurists, rather than letting a tiny special interest group of lawyers at the Oklahoma Bar Association dictate who can and can’t be a judge.

As usual, the argument here is incoherent and self-contradictory. Oh, the court is “playing politics”? Then let’s make them elected officials rather than appointed because having to be elected totally prevents them from “playing politics.”

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the term ‘judicial independence’ has become a liberal code phrase for ‘undemocratic liberal dictatorial powers,’” Calvey said. “It is sad that the once-worthy concept of ‘judicial independence’ has been perverted by those engaging in politics from the bench.”

Yeah, it’s just a liberal code phrase. Used by liberals like, oh, Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 78, in which he said that if the judiciary is not independent, the whole idea of protecting individual rights “would amount to nothing.”

The complete independence of the courts of justice is peculiarly essential in a limited Constitution. By a limited Constitution, I understand one which contains certain specified exceptions to the legislative authority; such, for instance, as that it shall pass no bills of attainder, no ex post facto laws, and the like. Limitations of this kind can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing.

Don’t you love how conservatives claim to practically worship the founding fathers and the Constitution but know almost nothing about them?

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  • John Pieret

    Then let’s make them elected officials rather than appointed because having to be elected totally prevents them from “playing politics.”

    It prevents them from playing the wrong (non-majority) politics.

  • fifthdentist

    Drats! I was so looking for the statue of Baphomet to go up beside the10 Suggestions.

    I was ready for the inevitable betting pool for how long it would be there before fundies defaced/destroyed/blew it up. I think that would forcing them to put up with a “satanic” piece would have taught them a much better lesson than just having their crap removed.

    I’ve also come to believe that fundies actually need to see their 10 Commandments every three seconds or so to remind them to not kill, to not lie, to not screw their neighbor’s ass or covet his wife. It seems that without this constant reinforcement they forget to not do those things.

  • abb3w

    This seems laughably unlikely to go anywhere, even in Oklahoma.

    A more realistic worry is that they’ll recognize that the problem is that the judges correctly read the current Oklahoma state constitution, and move to repeal the state’s Blaine Amendment.

  • Artor

    Dammit! Everyone knows that the law should be safeguarded by a bunch of guys in white robes, not black robes!

  • Larry

    And given that this is Oklahoma, I’m sure the justices are all flaming liberals who wear Birkenstocks, eat granola, and listen to the Grateful Dead.

  • Modusoperandi

    This ruling is the Court engaging in judicial bullying of the people of Oklahoma, pure and simple.

    He’s right. Not having the Ten Commandments outside the state capitol is bullying all the not non-Christians.

  • busterggi

    Its them subtle sneaky unelected libruls that make elected conservatives appoint those librul judges – we are that good.

  • caseloweraz

    Oklahomans would be better advised to impeach — or at least censure — their senior senator.

  • thebookofdave


    No need to stereotype them, Larry. It’s common knowledge that no one in Oklahoma wears Birkenstocks. These are barefoot tyrants (band name!).

  • Area Man

    Jebus, there are only 9 justices on the OK Supreme Court. If you’re trying to impeach 7 of them because you don’t like how they ruled, you’re basically at war with the entire judicial system.

  • John Pieret

    abb3w @ 3:

    A bill to amend the state constitution to remove the offending provision has already been introduced:

    Of course, repealing a provision that says:

    “No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.”

    … in order to keep the 10 Commandments on state property is not going to bolster their claim that it is non-religious but historical in nature in the Federal suit that’s coming when they turn down the Satanist and Hindu statutes and other such displays.

  • iknklast

    “Oklahoma judges were originally chosen in partisan elections. The impetus for change came in the mid-1960s, when one Oklahoma supreme court justice was convicted on bribery charges and another was impeached and removed from office. A third justice was already serving time in federal prison for income tax evasion.” – From the National Center for State Courts

    Oklahoma Supreme Court judges stand for re-election every six years. It is a yes/no election. You either vote to retain or not to retain. If they are not retained, then I assume another justice will have to be appointed. For the most part, people are so unfamiliar with the Supreme Court that they just vote “yes” to all the judges, or maybe occasionally a “no” just to show that they think for themselves.

  • whheydt

    IF they really want to elect their state supreme court, I have two words for them…”Roy Moore”.

  • iknklast

    whheydt – the citizens in Oklahoma, and the ones calling for impeachment of the Oklahoma judges, are wanting exactly that – Roy Moore. He would probably be their model, their ideal choice.

    I watched Hannity the other night; he had Annie Laurie Gaylor on. He and his other three guests totally misrepresented the Oklahoma ruling, claimed it had been declared legal in Texas (which is totally untrue; that case was very different, since it was a long-standing monument in the middle of a lot of other monuments, and I think they decided it wrongly anyway), and asked Annie Laurie a lot of questions they didn’t give her time to answer. She was just there to be their chew toy, and she’s much too polite to jump in on people like they did (plus, she didn’t have control of what went on the air even if she did).

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    Looks to me like someone in Oklahoma just didn’t pray hard enough. Christians only have themselves to blame.

  • abb3w

    @11, John Pieret

    A bill to amend the state constitution to remove the offending provision has already been introduced:

    Thus, “A more realistic worry”.