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Oklahoma SQ 748 challenged in state high court

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January 25, 2011

Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma: The 2010 election in Oklahoma has long been over, but for the fourth time since November, an Oklahoma ballot measure is facing litigation. Oklahoma State Question 748, which was proposed to reform the state Apportionment Commission, is the subject of the most recent lawsuit against a state question. The commission is responsible for drawing new legislative district lines if the Oklahoma Legislature is unable to reach a compromise following U.S Census data every ten years.[1]

Clark Duffe, vice-chairman of the Oklahoma Libertarian Party, filed the lawsuit on January 24, 2011 with the Oklahoma Supreme Court. The former independent candidate for the 5th Congressional District is requesting that the court reject the measure, which was approved by voters back in the general election.[2]

Before the measure was placed on the ballot and approved, the commission was comprised of three members: the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Attorney General and state Treasurer. With the approval of the state question, the commission increased to seven members: three Democrats, three Republicans and the Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma acting as the non-voting chairman of the commission. This, according to reports, is where Duffe took issue with the effects of the measure, stating that it discriminates against independents.

According to the lawsuit, "The voting class is recognized to include Democrat voters, Republican voters and independent voters. When one or more of the class is given more rights than the other class members or one or more of the class is discriminated against then the U.S. Constitution, due process of law and equal protection of law are violated."

Other Oklahoma measures with pending lawsuits, and the dates they were filed on, since the November 2010 general election include: State Questions 755 (November 4, 2010), State Question 751 (November 9, 2010), and State Question 746 (November 16, 2010).

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