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Senate Passes Bill on Posting of Judicial Opinions (Mar 09, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Senate has passed a bill to require state judges running for election to make their written rulings and opinions available to the public at least 60 days before an election.

The bill passed Wednesday by a 30-13 vote. Republican Sen. Don Barrington of Lawton says it's the result of a constituent request to learn more information about candidates in judicial races.

The bill says a district judge or associate district judge who files as a candidate for a judicial office must provide the rulings. The requirements can be met by posting the rulings and opinions on a candidate's website.

Critics say the proposal would effectively politicize what are nonpartisan races and that many judicial rulings in Oklahoma already are posted online.

The bill now goes to the House.

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