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UPDATE: Gov. Henry on Track to Name Opala Replacement (Dec 29, 2010)

OKLAHOMA CITY - The number of nominees recommended by the state's Judicial Nominating Commission for a vacant seat on the Oklahoma Supreme Court is down to three.

Oklahoma County District Judge Noma Gurich, Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeal Judge John Fisher and Lt. Gov. Jari Askins are the three finalists to replace Marian Opala on the high court after his death in October.

The Administrative Office of the Courts says recommendations were sent to the governor yesterday evening from among 14 finalists.

Gov. Brad Henry has until Jan. 10 to fill the vacancy because that’s when he leaves office. If he doesn’t make an appointment, the task will fall to Governor-elect Mary Fallin.

The recommendations were made despite two legal challenges filed to delay the process. If Henry makes the appointment, it will be his sixth in his two terms.

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