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Attorneys Dispute Commission's Constitutionality (Feb 08, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The constitutionality of Oklahoma's Judicial Nominating Commission was debated during oral arguments in a lawsuit before the state Supreme Court.

The court took the case under advisement after Tuesday's hearing.

Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent filed a lawsuit challenging the makeup of the panel that nominates candidates for judicial appointments to the governor. Fent alleges some members of the panel are appointed as representatives of six congressional districts, but the state lost one of its congressional seats following the 2000 census and the makeup of the commission was never corrected.

And state Sen. Clark Jolley of Edmond claims the panel should be reconstituted according to a state question approved by voters in November. That could affect some recent appointments of judges across the state — if the court agrees.

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