Oklahoma Supreme Court elections, 2008

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2008 election

There are three Justices on the Oklahoma Supreme Court who were up for a retention election vote in November 2008.

Tom Colbert

Justice Tom Colbert

Prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court, he served as a Judge on the state Court of Civil Appeals from 1999 to 2004, and was the first African-American to serve in that post. He served as Chief Judge during his final year on the Court.

On October 7th, 2004, Tom Colbert was appointed to the Supreme Court as the Court's 6th district representative. He was appointed by Governor Brad Henry and he is the first African-American to serve on the court.

On November 7th, 2006, Judge Colbert was retained by the people of Oklahoma with 530,036 of 785,074 votes.[1]

For more information, see the page for Justice Tom Colbert.

John F. Reif

Justice John Reif

John F. Reif's first judicial appointment was as a Special District Judge for the Fourteenth Judicial District, a position that he held from 1981 until 1984. He was appointed to the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals in 1984, where he served as judge, Vice Chief Judge (1993 and 2001) and Chief Judge (1994 and 2002) until his appointment to the Oklahoma Supreme Court in 2007. Each Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice is selected from one of nine judicial districts and sits for a six-year term. Justice Reif is from the first district.[2]

He was appointed to the court on October 22, 2007 by Governor Brad Henry to fill the vacancy of retired justice Robert Lavender. Reif was sworn into office on January 23, 2008.

For more information, see the page for Justice John Reif.

Joseph M. Watt

Justice Joseph Watt

After working in private practice, Justice Watt was appointed as Altus City Attorney in 1980 and served in that capacity until his appointment as a Special District Judge for Jackson County in 1985. The following year he was elected as an Associate Judge. He has also served as General Counsel in the Office of Oklahoma Governor David Walters.

From 2003 to 2007, he served two terms as Chief Justice. In 2005, he was re-elected to an unprecedented second term as Chief Justice, despite a federal age discrimination lawsuit filed by the Court's then-Vice Chief Justice Marian P. Opala, then 83 years old, who claimed Supreme Court rules were changed to prevent him from becoming Chief Justice.

For more information, see the page for Justice Joseph Watt.

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