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Posted: Apr 25, 2019 2:24 PMUpdated: Apr 25, 2019 3:26 PM

Senate Leadership Calls Out Supreme Court

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Garrett Giles

Senate President Pro Tem Greg Treat criticized the Oklahoma Supreme Court’s use of the special law provision of the Oklahoma Constitution. The provision strikes down the non-economic damages cap of the landmark workers’ compensation reform law.

Bartlesville’s Senator Julie Daniels, the Chairman of the Judicial Committee, said the Constitution states that you cannot limit noneconomic damages for a wrongful death by a wrongful death action. She said that the Supreme Court recently argued that a person injured on the job could not have  damages awarded that were different than that for a family after someone dies.

Sen. Daniels said the incomplete Supreme Court has demonstrated its dislike of workers’ comp reform and lawsuit reform. She said the decision affects the authority of the Legislature.

A change in the Majority Party may have something to do with it, Sen. Daniels said. For 100 years, the Democrats held the Majority Party in Oklahoma. Republicans have had the Majority in Oklahoma since 2004. While it could be tied to disrespect for Legislative Branch, Sen. Daniels believes the Supreme Court is pushing back on judicial reform.

Sen. Daniels said this is an issue that merits further study by members of the Legislature.

Governor Kevin Stitt signed legislation into law Thursday afternoon that would increase the Judicial Candidate pool. You can read more on that story here. Sen. Daniels believes that this could help alleviate the situation, but only time will tell.


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