Constitution of Oklahoma
Invoking the guidance of Almighty God, in order to secure and perpetuate the blessing of liberty; to secure just and rightful government; to promote our mutual welfare and happiness, we, the people of the State of Oklahoma, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
Article I - Federal RelationsEdit
Section 1. The State of Oklahoma is an inseparable part of the Federal Union, and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land.
Section 2. Perfect toleration of religious sentiment shall be secured, and no inhabitant of the State shall ever be molested in person or property on account of his or her mode of religious worship; and no religious test shall be required for the exercise of civil or political rights. Polygamous or plural marriages are forever prohibited.
Section 3. The people inhabiting the State do agree and declare that they forever disclaim all right and title in or to any unappropriated public lands lying within the boundaries thereof, and to all lands lying within said limits owned or held by any Indian, tribe, or nation; and that until the title to any such public land shall have been extinguished by the United States, the same shall be and remain subject to the jurisdiction, disposal, and control of the United States. Land belonging to citizens of the United States residing without the limits of the State shall never be taxed at a higher rate than the land belonging to residents thereof. No taxes shall be imposed by the State on lands or property belonging to or which may hereafter be purchased by the United States or reserved for its use.
Section 4. The debts and liabilities of the Territory of Oklahoma are hereby assumed, and shall be paid by the State.
Section 5. Provisions shall be made for the establishment and maintenance of a system of public schools, which shall be open to all the children of the state and free from sectarian control; and said schools shall always be conducted in English: Provided, that nothing herein shall preclude the teaching of other languages in said public schools.
Section 6. The State shall never enact any law restricting or abridging the right of suffrage on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.
Article II - Bill of RightsEdit
Section 1. All political power is inherent in the people; and government is instituted for their protection, security, and benefit, and to promote their general welfare; and they have the right to alter or reform the same whenever the public good may require it: Provided, such change be not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States.
Section 2. All persons have the inherent right to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and the enjoyment of the gains of their own industry.
Section 3. The people have the right peaceably to assemble for their own good, and to apply to those invested with the powers of government for redress of grievances by petition, address, or remonstrance.
Section 4. No power, civil or military, shall ever interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage by those entitled to such right.
Section 5. No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.
Section 6. The courts of justice of the State shall be open to every person, and speedy and certain remedy afforded for every wrong and for every injury to person, property, or reputation; and right and justice shall be administered without sale, denial, delay, or prejudice.
Section 7. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
- A. All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, except that bail may be denied for:
- 1. capital offenses when the proof of guilt is evident, or the presumption thereof is great;
- 2. violent offenses;
- 3. offenses where the maximum sentence may be life imprisonment or life imprisonment without parole;
- 4. felony offenses where the person charged with the offense has been convicted of two or more felony offenses arising out of different transactions; and
- 5. controlled dangerous substances offenses where the maximum sentence may be at least ten (10) years imprisonment.
- On all offenses specified in paragraphs 2 through 5 of this section, the proof of guilt must be evident, or the presumption must be great, and it must be on the grounds that no condition of release would assure the safety of the community or any person.
- B. The provisions of this resolution shall become effective on July 1, 1989.
Section 9. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel or unusual punishments inflicted.
Section 10. The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall never be suspended by the authorities of this State.
Section 11. Every person elected or appointed to any office or employment of trust or profit under the laws of the State, or under any ordinance of any municipality thereof, shall give personal attention to the duties of the office to which he is elected or appointed. Drunkenness and the excessive use of intoxicating liquors while in office shall constitute sufficient cause for impeachment or removal therefrom.
Section 12. No member of Congress from this State, or person holding any office of trust or profit under the laws of any other State, or of the United States, shall hold any office of trust or profit under the laws of this State.
Section 12A. Beginning January 1, 1995, persons wanting to become a candidate for election to the United States Congress from this State for a term beginning on or after January 1, 1995, shall be subject to the following provisions:
- A. Any person seeking to have his or her name placed on the ballot for election to the United States House of Representatives shall be eligible if, by the end of the then current term of office, that person has served in that office for three (3) two-year terms.
- B. Any person seeking to have his or her name placed on the ballot for election to the United States Senate shall be ineligible if, by the end of the then current term of office, that person has served in that office for two (2) six-year terms.
- C. A person elected to serve as member of the United States Congress shall be eligible to serve as a Representative for a total of six (6) years and as a Senator for a total of twelve (12) years for a maximum total of eighteen (18) years as a member of Congress from this State.
- D. The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to or include:
- 1. The years served by any person as a member of the United States House of Representatives or as a member of the United States Senate which began prior to the election at which this measure was enacted.
- 2. The years served by a person who has been appointed to complete the remainder of a vacated term.
- E. The provisions of this Section shall not be construed so as to prevent casting a ballot for any person regardless of the number of years previously served in the United States Congress by writing the name of that person on the ballot, or from having such ballot counted or to prevent a person from campaigning by means of a "write-in" campaign if that procedure is otherwise authorized in this Constitution or by law.
Section 13. Imprisonment for debt is prohibited, except for the non-payment of fines and penalties imposed for the violation of law.
Section 14. The military shall be held in strict subordination to the civil authorities. No soldier shall be quartered in any house, in time of peace, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, except in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Section 15. No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, nor any law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be passed. No conviction shall work a corruption of blood or forfeiture of estate: Provided, that this provision shall not prohibit the imposition of pecuniary penalties.
Section 16. Treason against the State shall consist only in levying war against it or in adhering to its enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.
Section 17. No person shall be prosecuted criminally in courts of record for felony or misdemeanor otherwise than by presentment or indictment or by information. No person shall be prosecuted for a felony by information without having had a preliminary examination before an examining magistrate, or having waived such preliminary examination. Prosecutions may be instituted in courts not of record upon a duly verified complaint.
Section 18. A grand jury shall be composed of twelve (12) persons, any nine (9) of whom concurring may find an indictment or true bill. A grand jury shall be convened upon the order of a district judge upon his own motion; or such grand jury shall be ordered by a district judge upon the filing of a petition therefor signed by qualified electors of the county equal to the number of signatures required to propose legislation by a county by initiative petition as provided in Section 5 of Article V of the Oklahoma Constitution, with the minimum number of required signatures being five hundred (500) and the maximum being five thousand (5000); and further providing that in any calendar year in which a grand jury has been convened pursuant to a petition therefor, then any subsequent petition filed during the same calendar year shall require double the minimum number of signatures as were required hereunder for the first petition; or such grand jury shall be ordered convened upon the filing of a verified application by the Attorney General of the State of Oklahoma who shall have authority to conduct the grand jury in investigating crimes which are alleged to have been committed in said county or involving multicounty criminal activities; when so assembled such grand jury shall have power to inquire into and return indictments for all character and grades of crime. All other provisions of the Constitution or the laws of this state in conflict with the provisions of this constitutional amendment are hereby expressly repealed.
The legislature shall enact laws to prevent corruption in making, filing, circulating, and submitting petitions calling for convening a grand jury.
Section 19. The right of trial by jury shall be and remain inviolate, except in civil cases wherein the amount in controversy does not exceed One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00), or in criminal cases wherein punishment for the offense charged is by fine only, not exceeding One Thousand Five Hundred Dollars ($1,500.00). Provided, however, that the Legislature may provide for jury trial in cases involving lesser amounts. Juries for the trial of civil cases, involving more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), and felony criminal cases shall consist of twelve (12) persons. All other juries shall consist of six (6) persons. However, in all cases the parties may agree on a lesser number of jurors than provided herein.
In all criminal cases where imprisonment for more than six (6) months is authorized the entire number of jurors must concur to render a verdict. In all other cases three-fourths (3/4) of the whole number of jurors concurring shall have power to render a verdict. When a verdict is rendered by less than the whole number of jurors, the verdict shall be signed by each juror concurring therein.
Section 20. In all criminal prosecutions the accused shall have the right to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury of the county in which the crime shall have been committed or, where uncertainty exists as to the county in which the crime was committed, the accused may be tried in any county in which the evidence indicates the crime might have been committed. Provided, that the venue may be changed to some other county of the state, on the application of the accused, in such manner as may be prescribed by law. He shall be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him and have a copy thereof, and be confronted with the witnesses against him, and have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his behalf. He shall have the right to be heard by himself and counsel; and in capital cases, at least two days before the case is called for trial, he shall be furnished with a list of the witnesses that will be called in chief, to prove the allegations of the indictment or information, together with their postoffice addresses.
Section 21. No person shall be compelled to give evidence which will tend to incriminate him, except as in this Constitution specifically provided; nor shall any person, after having been once acquitted by a jury, be again put in jeopardy of life or liberty for that of which he has been acquitted. Nor shall any person be twice put in jeopardy of life or liberty for the same offense.
Section 22. Every person may freely speak, write, or publish his sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right; and no law shall be passed to restrain or abridge the liberty of speech or of the press. In all criminal prosecutions for libel, the truth of the matter alleged to be libelous may be given in evidence to the jury, and if it shall appear to the jury that the matter charged as libelous be true, and was written or published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the party shall be acquitted.
Section 23. No private property shall be taken or damaged for private use, with or without compensation, unless by consent of the owner, except for private ways of necessity, or for drains and ditches across lands of others for agricultural, mining, or sanitary purposes, in such manner as may be prescribed by law.
Section 24. Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation. Just compensation shall mean the value of the property taken, and in addition, any injury to any part of the property not taken. Any special and direct benefits to the part of the property not taken may be offset only against any injury to the property not taken. Such compensation shall be ascertained by a board of commissioners of not less than three freeholders, in such manner as may be prescribed by law. Provided however, in no case shall the owner be required to make any payments should the benefits be judged to exceed damages. The commissioners shall not be appointed by any judge or court without reasonable notice having been served upon all parties in interest. The commissioners shall be selected from the regular jury list of names prepared and made as the Legislature shall provide. Any party aggrieved shall have the right of appeal, without bond, and trial by jury in a court of record. Until the compensation shall be paid to the owner, or into court for the owner, the property shall not be disturbed, or the proprietary rights of the owner divested. When possession is taken of property condemned for any public use, the owner shall be entitled to the immediate receipt of the compensation awarded, without prejudice to the right of either party to prosecute further proceedings for the judicial determination of the sufficiency or insufficiency of such compensation. The fee of land taken by common carriers for right of way, without the consent of the owner, shall remain in such owner subject only to the use for which it is taken. In all cases of condemnation of private property for public or private use, the determination of the character of the use shall be a judicial question.
Section 25. The legislature shall pass laws defining contempts and regulating the proceedings and punishment in matters of contempt: Provided, that any person accused of violating or disobeying, when not in the presence or hearing of the court, or judge sitting as such, any order of injunction, or restraint, made or entered by any court or judge of the State shall, before penalty or punishment is imposed, be entitled to a trial by jury as to the guilt or innocence of the accused. In no case shall a penalty or punishment be imposed for contempt, until an opportunity to be heard is given.
Section 26. The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, when thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons.
Section 27. Any person having knowledge or possession of facts that tend to establish the guilt of any other person or corporation under the laws of the state shall not be excused from giving testimony or producing evidence, when legally called upon so to do, on the ground that it may tend to incriminate him under the laws of the state; but no person shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he may so testify or produce evidence. All other provisions of the Constitution or the laws of this state in conflict with the provisions of this constitutional amendment are hereby expressly repealed.
Section 28. The records, books, and files of all corporations shall be, at all times, liable and subject to the full visitorial and inquisitorial powers of the State, notwithstanding the immunities and privileges in this Bill of Rights secured to the persons, inhabitants, and citizens thereof.
Section 29. No person shall be transported out of the State for any offense committed within the State, nor shall any person be transported out of the State for any purpose, without his consent, except by due process of law; but nothing in this provision shall prevent the operation of extradition laws, or the transporting of persons sentenced for crime, to other states for the purpose of incarceration.
Section 30. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches or seizures shall not be violated; and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, describing as particularly as may be the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized.
Section 31. The right of the State to engage in any occupation or business for public purposes shall not be denied nor prohibited, except that the State shall not engage in agriculture for any other than educational and scientific purposes and for the support of its penal, charitable, and educational institutions.
Section 32. Perpetuities and monopolies are contrary to the genius of a free government, and shall never be allowed, nor shall the law of primogeniture or entailments ever be in force in this State.
Section 33. The enumeration in this Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny, impair, or disparage others retained by the people.
- A. To preserve and protect the rights of victims to justice and due process, and ensure that victims are treated with fairness, respect and dignity, and are free from intimidation, harassment, or abuse, throughout the criminal justice process, any victim or family member of a victim of a crime has the right to know the status of the investigation and prosecution of the criminal case, including all proceedings wherein a disposition of a case is likely to occur, and where plea negotiations may occur. The victim or family member of a victim of a crime has the right to know the location of the defendant following an arrest, during a prosecution of the criminal case, during a sentence to probation or confinement, and when there is any release or escape of the defendant from confinement. The victim or family member of a victim of a crime has a right to be present at any proceeding where the defendant has a right to be present, to be heard at any sentencing or parole hearing, to be awarded restitution by the convicted person for damages or losses as determined and ordered by the court, and to be informed by the state of the constitutional rights of the victim.
- B. An exercise of any right by a victim or family member of a victim or the failure to provide a victim or family member of a victim any right granted by this section shall not be grounds for dismissing any criminal proceeding or setting aside any conviction or sentence.
- C. The Legislature, or the people by initiative or referendum, has the authority to enact substantive and procedural laws to define, implement, preserve and protect the rights guaranteed to victims by this section, including the authority to extend any of these rights to juvenile proceedings and if enacted by the Legislature, youthful offender proceedings.
- D. The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights for victims shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights granted by the Legislature or retained by victims.
- A. Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman. Neither this Constitution nor any other provision of law shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.
- B. A marriage between persons of the same gender performed in another state shall not be recognized as valid and binding in this state as of the date of the marriage.
- C. Any person knowingly issuing a marriage license in violation of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
Article III - SuffrageEdit
Section 1. Subject to such exceptions as the Legislature may prescribe, all citizens of the United States, over the age of eighteen (18) years, who are bona fide residents of this state, are qualified electors of this state.
Section 2. The Legislature shall create a State Election Board to be charged with the supervision of such elections as the Legislature shall direct. Not more than a majority of the members of said Board shall be selected from the same political party.
Section 3. The Legislature may enact laws providing for a mandatory primary system which shall provide for the nomination of all candidates in all elections for federal, state, county and municipal offices, for all political parties, except for the office of Presidential Elector, the candidates for which shall be nominated by the recognized political parties at their conventions. The Legislature also shall enact laws providing that citizens may, by petition, place on the ballot the names of independent, nonpartisan candidates for office, including the office of Presidential Elector.
Section 4. The Legislature shall prescribe the time and manner of holding and conducting all elections, and enact such laws as may be necessary to detect and punish fraud in such elections. The Legislature may provide by law for the registration of electors throughout the state and, when it is so provided, no person shall vote at any election unless he shall have registered according to law.
Section 5. All elections shall be free and equal. No power, civil or military, shall ever interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage, and electors shall, in all cases, except for treason, felony, and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance on elections and while going to and from the same.
Article IV - Distribution of PowersEdit
Section 1. The powers of the government of the State of Oklahoma shall be divided into three separate departments: The Legislative, Executive, and Judicial; and except as provided in this Constitution, the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial departments of government shall be separate and distinct, and neither shall exercise the powers properly belonging to either of the others.
Article V - Legislative DepartmentEdit
Initiative and ReferendumEdit
Section 1. The Legislative authority of the State shall be vested in a Legislature, consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives; but the people reserve to themselves the power to propose laws and amendments to the Constitution and to enact or reject the same at the polls independent of the Legislature, and also reserve power at their own option to approve or reject at the polls any act of the Legislature.
Section 2. The first power reserved by the people is the initiative, and eight per centum of the legal voters shall have the right to propose any legislative measure, and fifteen per centum of the legal voters shall have the right to propose amendments to the Constitution by petition, and every such petition shall include the full text of the measure so proposed. The second power is the referendum, and it may be ordered (except as to laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety), either by petition signed by five per centum of the legal voters or by the Legislature as other bills are enacted. The ratio and per centum of legal voters hereinbefore stated shall be based upon the total number of votes cast at the last general election for the State office receiving the highest number of votes at such election.
Section 3. Referendum petitions shall be filed with the Secretary of State not more than ninety (90) days after the final adjournment of the session of the Legislature which passed the bill on which the referendum is demanded. The veto power of the Governor shall not extend to measures voted on by the people. All elections on measures referred to the people of the state shall be had at the next election held throughout the state, except when the Legislature or the Governor shall order a special election for the express purpose of making such reference. Any measure referred to the people by the initiative or referendum shall take effect and be in force when it shall have been approved by a majority of the votes cast thereon and not otherwise.
The style of all bills shall be: "Be it Enacted By the People of the State of Oklahoma."
Petitions and orders for the initiative and for the referendum shall be filed with the Secretary of State and addressed to the Governor of the state, who shall submit the same to the people. The Legislature shall make suitable provisions for carrying into effect the provisions of this article.
Section 4. The referendum may be demanded by the people against one or more items, sections, or parts of any act of the Legislature in the same manner in which such power may be exercised against a complete act. The filing of a referendum petition against one or more items, sections, or parts of an act shall not delay the remainder of such act from becoming operative.
Section 5. The powers of the initiative and referendum reserved to the people by this Constitution for the State at large, are hereby further reserved to the legal voters of every county and district therein, as to all local legislation, or action, in the administration of county and district government in and for their respective counties and districts. The manner of exercising said powers shall be prescribed by general laws, except that Boards of County Commissioners may provide for the time of exercising the initiative and referendum powers as to local legislation in their respective counties and districts.
The requisite number of petitioners for the invocation of the initiative and referendum in counties and districts shall bear twice, or double, the ratio to the whole number of legal voters in such county or district, as herein provided therefor in the State at large.
Section 5A. Each county in the State of Oklahoma may by a majority of the legal voters of such county voting upon the proposition, abolish township organization or government. The Board of County Commissioners of such county, upon a petition signed by sixteen per centum of the total number of votes cast at the last general election for the county office receiving the highest number of votes, praying that the question of abolishing township organization or government be submitted to a vote of the county, shall within thirty days after the regular meeting of such board next convening after the filing of such petition, call a special election for such purpose, or the board may in their discretion submit such question at the next general election held after the filing of such petition. If such question shall be carried, township organization or government shall cease in such county, and all the duties theretofore performed by the township officers shall be cast upon and be performed by such county officers having like duties to perform in relation to the county at large as such township officers performed in relation to the township at large. At any general election after the abolition of township organization or government the question of returning to township government may be submitted as provided for the submission of the question of abolishing such government, and if a majority of the votes cast upon such question be in favor of township government the same shall thereupon be established, and the Board of County Commissioners shall appoint the full quota of township officers, who shall hold their offices and perform the duties thereof until their successors shall have been elected at the next general election and until they have been qualified. Except as otherwise specifically provided by this section, the law relating to carrying into effect the initiative and referendum provisions of the Constitution shall govern.
Section 6. Any measure rejected by the people, through the powers of the initiative and referendum, cannot be again proposed by the initiative within three years thereafter by less than twenty-five per centum of the legal voters.
Section 7. The reservation of the powers of the initiative and referendum in this article shall not deprive the Legislature of the right to repeal any law, propose or pass any measure, which may be consistent with the Constitution of the State and the Constitution of the United States.
Section 8. Laws shall be provided to prevent corruption in making, procuring, and submitting initiative and referendum petitions.
Sections 9 - 9(b) repealed by State Question No. 416 at election held May 26, 1964.
Section 9A. The state shall be apportioned into forty-eight senatorial districts in the following manner: the nineteen most populous counties, as determined by the most recent Federal Decennial Census, shall constitute nineteen senatorial districts with one senator to be nominated and elected from each district; the fifty-eight less populous counties shall be joined into twenty-nine two-county districts with one senator to be nominated and elected from each of the two-county districts. In apportioning the State Senate, consideration shall be given to population, compactness, area, political units, historical precedents, economic and political interests, contiguous territory, and other major factors, to the extent feasible.
Each senatorial district, whether single county or multi-county, shall be entitled to one senator, who shall hold office for four years; provided that any senator, serving at the time of the adoption of this amendment, shall serve the full time for which he was elected. Vitalization of senatorial districts shall provide for one-half of the senators to be elected at each general election.
The House of RepresentativesEdit
Section 10 repealed by State Question No. 416 at election held May 26, 1964.
Section 10A. The House of Representatives shall consist of the number of Representatives as determined by the formula and procedure set forth herein. The number of members of the House of Representatives to which each county shall be entitled shall be determined according to the following formula:
- a. The total population of the state as ascertained by the most recent Federal Decennial Census shall be divided by the number one hundred and the quotient shall be the ratio of representation in the House of Representatives, except as otherwise provided in this Article.
- b. Every county having a population less than one full ratio shall be assigned one Representative; every county containing an entire ratio but less than two ratios shall be assigned two Representatives; every county containing a population of two entire ratios but less than three ratios shall be assigned three Representatives; and every county containing a population of three entire ratios but less than four ratios shall be assigned four Representatives.
After the first four Representatives, a county shall qualify for additional representation on the basis of two whole ratios of population for each additional Representative.
Each Representative nominated and elected shall hold office for two years.
Section 11 repealed by State Question No. 416 at election held May 26, 1964.
Section 11A. The apportionment of the Legislature shall be accomplished by the Legislature according to the provisions of this article, within ninety (90) legislative days after the convening of the first regular session of the Legislature following each Federal Decennial Census. If the Legislature shall fail or refuse to make such apportionment within the time provided herein, then such apportionment shall be accomplished by an Apportionment Commission composed of the Attorney General, Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Treasurer of the State of Oklahoma according to the provisions of this article.
Section 11B. Each order of apportionment rendered by the Apportionment Commission shall be in writing and shall be filed with the Secretary of State and shall be signed by at least two members of the Commission.
Section 11C. Any qualified elector may seek a review of any apportionment order of the Commission, or apportionment law of the legislature, within sixty days from the filing thereof, by filing in the Supreme Court of Oklahoma a petition which must set forth a proposed apportionment more nearly in accordance with this Article. Any apportionment of either the Senate or the House of Representatives, as ordered by the Commission, or apportionment law of the legislature, from which review is not sought within such time, shall become final. The court shall give all cases involving apportionment precedence over all other cases and proceedings; and if said court be not in session, it shall convene promptly for the disposal of the same.
Section 11D. Upon review, the Supreme Court shall determine whether or not the apportionment order of the Commission or act of the legislature is in compliance with the formula as set forth in this Article and, if so, it shall require the same to be filed or refiled as the case may be with the Secretary of State forthwith, and such apportionment shall become final on the date of said writ. In the event the Supreme Court shall determine that the apportionment order of said Commission or legislative act is not in compliance with the formula for either the Senate or the House of Representatives as set forth in this Article, it will remand the matter to the Commission with directions to modify its order to achieve conformity with the provisions of this Article.
Section 11E. The Supreme Court, upon petition of any qualified elector alleging failure of the Commission to timely act, is hereby vested with original jurisdiction to compel, and shall compel, the Commission to make the apportionment as herein provided. It shall also have exclusive jurisdiction of any review hereunder. If more than one petition be filed, the court shall consolidate such proceedings for hearing and disposition, and shall file its opinion and issue its writ within sixty days from the timely filing of such last petition. In the event any action filed hereunder shall be abandoned or dismissed, any other qualified elector shall be allowed to intervene within ten days thereof.
Sections 12 - 16 repealed by State Question No. 416 at election held May 26, 1964.
Qualifications and Rights of MembersEdit
Section 17. Members of the Senate shall be at least twenty-five years of age, and members of the House of Representatives twenty-one years of age at the time of their election. They shall be qualified electors in their respective counties or districts and shall reside in their respective counties or districts during their term of office.
Section 17A. Any member of the Legislature who is elected to office after the effective date of this amendment shall be eligible to serve no more than 12 years in the Oklahoma State Legislature. Years in Legislative office need not be consecutive and years of service in both the Senate and the House of Representatives shall be added together and included in determining the total number of Legislative years in office. The years served by any member elected or appointed to serve less than a full Legislative term to fill a vacancy in office shall not be included in the 12-year limitation set forth herein; but no member who has completed 12 years in office shall thereafter be eligible to serve a partial term. Any member who is serving a Legislative term in office or who has been elected or appointed to serve a term in office on the effective date hereof shall be entitled to complete his or her term and shall be eligible to serve an additional 12 years thereafter. This amendment shall be effective on the 1st day of the year following its adoption.
Section 18. No person shall serve as a member of the Legislature who is, at the time of such service, an officer of the United States or State government, or is receiving compensation as such; nor shall any person be eligible to election to the Legislature, who has been adjudged guilty of a felony.
Section 19. A member of the Legislature expelled for corruption shall not thereafter be eligible to membership in either House. Punishment for contempt or disorderly conduct, or for any other cause, shall not bar an indictment for the same offense.
Section 20. The Governor shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies as may occur in the Legislature.
- A. The Legislature shall enact laws to prohibit members of the Legislature from engaging in activities or having interests which conflict with the proper discharge of their duties and responsibilities.
- B. The Board on Legislative Compensation is hereby created. Said Board shall be composed of five members appointed by the Governor, two members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and two members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The members appointed by the Governor shall be from religious organizations, communications media, nonstate-supported educational institutions, labor organizations, and retail business; the members appointed by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate shall be from agricultural and civic organizations; and the members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be from manufacturing and from professional fields not otherwise specified. No member of the Legislature may be appointed to or serve on the Board. In addition to the members above provided for, the Chairman of the Oklahoma Tax Commission and the Director of State Finance shall serve as ex officio nonvoting members of said Board. The Chairman of said Board shall be designated by the Governor. Members of the Legislature shall receive such compensation as shall be fixed by the Board on Legislative Compensation. If a member of the Legislature is incarcerated due to being charged with a criminal offense and subsequently is found guilty of the offense or pleads guilty or nolo contendere to the offense, the legislator shall return to the state any compensation the legislator received from the state while the legislator was incarcerated prior to the guilty verdict or plea or nolo contendere plea and shall not receive any compensation from the state during any incarceration following such verdict or plea. Said Board shall each two years review the compensation paid to the members of the Legislature and shall be empowered to change such compensation; such change to become effective on the fifteenth day following the succeeding general election. The members of the Board shall serve without compensation, but shall be entitled to receive necessary travel and subsistence expense as provided by law for other state officers.
Section 22. Senators and Representatives shall, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during the session of the Legislature, and in going to and returning from the same, and, for any speech or debate in either House, shall not be questioned in any other place.
Section 23. No member of the Legislature shall, during the term for which he was elected, be appointed or elected to any office or commission in the State, which shall have been created, or the emoluments of which shall have been increased, during his term of office, nor shall any member receive any appointment from the Governor, the Governor and Senate, or from the Legislature, during the term for which he shall have been elected, nor shall any member, during the term for which he shall have been elected, or within two years thereafter, be interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with the State, or any county or other subdivision thereof, authorized by law passed during the term for which he shall have been elected.
Section 24. A member of the Legislature, who has a personal or private interest in any measure or bill, proposed or pending before the Legislature, shall disclose the fact to the House of which he is a member, and shall not vote thereon.
Section 25. The first session of the Legislature, held by virtue of this Constitution, shall not exceed one hundred and sixty days.
Section 26. The Legislature shall meet in regular session at the seat of government at twelve o'clock noon on the first Monday in February of each year and the regular session shall be finally adjourned sine die not later than five o'clock p.m. on the last Friday in May of each year.
The Legislature shall also meet in regular session at the seat of government on the First Tuesday after the First Monday in January of each odd numbered year, beginning at twelve o'clock noon for the purposes only of performing the duties as required by Section 5 of Article VI of the Constitution and organizing pursuant to the provisions of this Article and shall recess not later than five o'clock p.m. of that same day until the following first Monday in February of the same year, beginning at twelve o'clock noon.
Section 27. The Legislature shall hold regular annual sessions as herein provided, but this shall not prevent the calling of special sessions of the Legislature by the Governor.
- (1) The Legislature may be called into special session by a written call for such purposes as may be specifically set out in the call, signed by two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Senate and two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the House of Representatives when it is filed with the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives who shall issue jointly an order for the convening of the special session.
- (2) Nothing in this section shall prevent the calling of a special session of the Legislature by the Governor, as provided by the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma.
Leadership, Rules and OrganizationEdit
Section 28. The Senate shall, at the beginning of each regular session and at such other times as may be necessary, elect one of its members President pro tempore, who shall preside over its deliberations in the absence or place of the Lieutenant Governor; and the Senate shall provide for all its standing committees and, by a majority vote, elect the members thereof.
Section 29. The House of Representatives shall, at the beginning of each regular session and at such other times as may be necessary, elect one of its members Speaker.
Section 30. Each House shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner and under such penalty as each House may provide.
Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.
Each House shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same. The yeas and nays of the members of either House on any question, at the desire of one-fifteenth of those present shall be entered upon its journal.
Neither House, during the session of the Legislature, shall, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.
Section 31. In all elections made by the Legislature, except for officers and employees thereof, the members thereof shall vote yea or nay, and each vote shall be entered upon the journal.
Section 32. No special or local law shall be considered by the Legislature until notice of the intended introduction of such bill or bills shall first have been published for four consecutive weeks in some weekly newspaper published or of general circulation in the city or county affected by such law, stating in substance the contents thereof, and verified proof of such publication filed with the Secretary of State.
- A. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives. The Senate may propose amendments to revenue bills.
- B. No revenue bill shall be passed during the five last days of the session.
- C. Any revenue bill originating in the House of Representatives shall not become effective until it has been referred to the people of the state at the next general election held throughout the state and shall become effective and be in force when it has been approved by a majority of the votes cast on the measure at such election and not otherwise, except as otherwise provided in subsection D of this section.
- D. Any revenue bill originating in the House of Representatives may become law without being submitted to a vote of the people of the state if such bill receives the approval of three-fourths (3/4) of the membership of the House of Representatives and three-fourths (3/4) of the membership of the Senate and is submitted to the Governor for appropriate action. Any such revenue bill shall not be subject to the emergency measure provision authorized in Section 58 of this Article and shall not become effective and be in force until ninety days after it has been approved by the Legislature, and acted on by the Governor.
Section 34. Every bill shall be read on three different days in each House, and no bill shall become a law unless, on its final passage, it be read at length, and no law shall be passed unless upon a vote of a majority of all the members elected to each House in favor of such law; and the question, upon final passage, shall be taken upon its last reading, and the yeas and nays shall be entered upon the journal.
Section 35. The presiding officer of each House shall, in the presence of the House over which he presides, sign all bills and joint resolutions passed by the Legislature, immediately after the same shall have been publicly read at length, and the fact of reading and signing shall be entered upon the journal, but the reading at length may be dispensed with by a two-thirds vote of a quorum present, which vote, by yeas and nays, shall also be entered upon the journal.
Legislative Authority and DutiesEdit
Section 36. The authority of the Legislature shall extend to all rightful subjects of legislation, and any specific grant of authority in this Constitution, upon any subject whatsoever, shall not work a restriction, limitation, or exclusion of such authority upon the same or any other subject or subjects whatsoever.
Section 37. The Legislature shall have the power to establish a state printing plant, and to provide for the election or appointment of a State Printer.
Section 38. The Legislature shall provide for the establishment of a State Geological and Economic Survey.
Section 39. The Legislature shall create a Board of Health, Board of Dentistry, Board of Pharmacy, and Pure Food Commission, and prescribe the duties of each. All physicians, dentists and pharmacists now legally registered and practicing in Oklahoma and Indian Territory shall be eligible to registration in the State of Oklahoma without examination or cost.
Section 40. The Legislature shall provide for organizing, disciplining, arming, maintaining, and equipping the Militia of the State.
Section 41. The Legislature may enact laws authorizing cities to pension meritorious and disabled firemen.
Section 42. In any legislative investigation, either House of the Legislature, or any committee thereof, duly authorized by the House creating the same, shall have power to punish as for contempt, disobedience of process, or contumacious or disorderly conduct, and this provision shall also apply to joint sessions of the Legislature, and also to joint committees thereof, when authorized by joint resolution of both Houses.
Section 43. The Legislature shall, in the year nineteen hundred and nine and each ten years thereafter, make provision by law for revising, digesting, and promulgating the statutes of the State.
Section 44. The Legislature shall define what is an unlawful combination, monopoly, trust, act, or agreement, in restraint of trade, and enact laws to punish persons engaged in any unlawful combination, monopoly, trust, act, or agreement, in restraint of trade, or composing any such monopoly, trust, or combination.
Section 45. The Legislature shall pass such laws as are necessary for carrying into effect the provisions of this Constitution.
Limitations on Legislative PowersEdit
Section 46. The Legislature shall not, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution, pass any local or special law authorizing:
- The creation, extension, or impairing of liens;
- Regulating the affairs of counties, cities, towns, wards, or school districts;
- Changing the names of persons or places;
- Authorizing the laying out, opening, altering, or maintaining of roads, highways, streets, or alleys;
- Relating to ferries or bridges, or incorporating ferry or bridge companies, except for the erection of bridges crossing streams which form boundaries between this and any other state;
- Vacating roads, town plats, streets, or alleys;
- Relating to cemeteries, graveyards, or public grounds not owned by the State;
- Authorizing the adoption or legitimation of children;
- Locating or changing county seats;
- Incorporating cities, towns, or villages, or changing their charters;
- For the opening and conducting of elections, or fixing or changing the places of voting;
- Granting divorces;
- Creating offices, or prescribing the powers and duties of officers, in counties, cities, towns, election or school districts;
- Changing the law of descent or succession;
- Regulating the practice or jurisdiction of, or changing the rules of evidence in judicial proceedings or inquiry before the courts, justices of the peace, sheriffs, commissioners, arbitrators, or other tribunals, or providing or changing the methods for the collection of debts, or the enforcement of judgments or prescribing the effect of judicial sales of real estate;
- Regulating the fees, or extending the powers and duties of aldermen, justices of the peace, or constables;
- Regulating the management of public schools, the building or repairing of school houses, and the raising of money for such purposes;
- Fixing the rate of interest;
- Affecting the estates of minors, or persons under disability;
- Remitting fines, penalties and forfeitures, and refunding moneys legally paid into the treasury;
- Exempting property from taxation;
- Declaring any named person of age;
- Extending the time for the assessment or collection of taxes, or otherwise relieving any assessor or collector of taxes from due performance of his official duties, or his securities from liability;
- Giving effect to informal or invalid wills or deeds;
- Summoning or impaneling grand or petit juries;
- For limitation of civil or criminal actions;
- For incorporating railroads or other works of internal improvements;
- Providing for change of venue in civil and criminal cases.
Section 47. The Legislature shall not retire any officer on pay or part pay, or make any grant to such retiring officer.
Section 48. The Legislature shall have no power to appropriate any of the public money for the establishment and maintenance of a Bureau of Immigration in this State.
Section 49. The Legislature shall not increase the number or emolument of its employees, or the employees of either House, except by general law, which shall not take effect during the term at which such increase was made.
Section 50. The Legislature shall pass no law exempting any property withis this State from taxation, except as otherwise provided in this Constitution.
Section 51. The Legislature shall pass no law granting to any association, corporation, or individual any exclusive rights, privileges, or immunities within this State.
Section 52. The Legislature shall have no power to revive any right or remedy which may have become barred by lapse of time, or by any statute of this State. After suit has been commenced on any cause of action, the Legislature shall have no power to take away such cause of action, or destroy any existing defense to such suit.
Section 53. Except as to tax and assessment charges against real property remaining delinquent and unpaid for a period of time as long or longer than that provided by law to authorize the taking title to real property by prescription, the Legislature shall have no power to release or extinguish, or to authorize the releasing or extinguishing, in whole or in part, the indebtedness, liabilities, or obligations of any corporation or individual, to this State, or any county or other municipal corporation thereof.
Statutes, Bills, Acts, and LawsEdit
Section 54. The repeal of a statute shall not revive a statute previously repealed by such statute, nor shall such repeal affect any accrued right, or penalty incurred, or proceedings begun by virtue of such repealed statute.
Section 55. No money shall ever be paid out of the treasury of this State, nor any of its funds, nor any of the funds under its management, except in pursuance of an appropriation by law, nor unless such payments be made within two and one-half years after the passage of such appropriation act, and every such law making a new appropriation, or continuing or reviving an appropriation, shall distinctly specify the sum appropriated and the object to which it is to be applied, and it shall not be sufficient for such law to refer to any other law to fix such sum.
Section 56. The general appropriation bill shall embrace nothing but appropriations for the expenses of the executive, legislative, and judicial departments of the State, and for interest on the public debt. The salary of no officer or employee of the State, or any subdivision thereof, shall be increased in such bill, nor shall any appropriation be made therein for any such officer or employee, unless his employment and the amount of his salary, shall have been already provided for by law. All other appropriations shall be made by separate bills, each embracing but one subject.
Section 57. Every act of the Legislature shall embrace but one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title, except general appropriation bills, general revenue bills, and bills adopting a code, digest, or revision of statutes; and no law shall be revived, amended, or the provisions thereof extended or conferred, by reference to its title only; but so much thereof as is revived, amended, extended, or conferred shall be re-enacted and published at length: Provided, That if any subject be embraced in any act contrary to the provisions of this section, such act shall be void only as to so much of the law as may not be expressed in the title thereof.
Section 58. No act shall take effect until ninety days after the adjournment of the session at which it was passed, except enactments for carrying into effect provisions relating to the initiative and referendum, or a general appropriation bill, unless, in case of emergency, to be expressed in the act, the Legislature, by a vote of two-thirds of all members elected to each House, so directs. An emergency measure shall include only such measures as are immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, and shall not include the granting of franchises or license to a corporation or individual, to extend longer than one year, nor provision for the purchase or sale of real estate, nor the renting or encumbrance of real property for a longer term than one year. Emergency measures may be vetoed by the Governor, but such measures so vetoed may be passed by a three-fourths vote of each House, to be duly entered on the journal.
Section 59. Laws of a general nature shall have a uniform operation throughout the State, and where a general law can be made applicable, no special law shall be enacted.
Other Legislative Powers and DutiesEdit
Section 60. The Legislature shall provide by law for the establishment and maintenace of an efficient system of checks and balances between the officers of the Executive Department, and all commissioners and superintendents, and boards of control of State institutions, and all other officers entrusted with the collection, receipt, custody, or disbursement of the revenue or moneys of the State whatsoever.
Section 61. The legislature may enact laws authorizing cities to pension meritorious and disabled police officers.
Section 62. The Legislature may enact laws to provide for the retirement for meritorious service of teachers and other employees in the public schools, colleges and universities in this State supported wholly or in part by public funds, and may provide for payments to be made and accumulated from public funds, either of the State or of the several school districts. Payments from public funds shall be made in conformity to equality and uniformity within the same classifications according to duration of service and remuneration received during such service.
Section 63. The Legislature, in order to insure continuity of State and local governmental operations in periods of emergency resulting from disasters caused by enemy attack or in periods of emergency resulting from the imminent threat of such disasters, shall have the power and the immediate duty (1) to provide for prompt and temporary succession to the powers and duties of public offices, of whatever nature and whether filled by election or appointment, the incumbents of which may become unavailable for carrying on the powers and duties of such offices; and (2) to adopt such other measures as may be necessary and proper for so insuring the continuity of governmental operations. In the exercise of the powers hereby conferred, the Legislature shall in all respects conform to the requirements of this Constitution.
Article VI - Executive DepartmentEdit
- A. The Executive authority of the state shall be vested in a Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor and Inspector, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction, Labor Commissioner, Insurance Commissioner and other officers provided by law and this Constitution, each of whom shall keep his office and public records, books and papers at the seat of government, and shall perform such duties as may be designated in this Constitution or prescribed by law.
- B. The Secretary of State shall be appointed by the Governor by and with the consent of the Senate for a term of four (4) years to run concurrently with the term of the Governor.
Section 2. The Supreme Executive power shall be vested in a Chief Magistrate, who shall be styled "The Governor of the State of Oklahoma."
Section 3. No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Auditor and Inspector, Attorney General, State Treasurer or Superintendent of Public Instruction except a citizen of the United States of the age of not less than thirty-one (31) years and who shall have been ten (10) years next preceding his or her election, or appointment, a qualified elector of this state.
Section 4. The term of office of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Auditor and Inspector, Attorney General, State Treasurer, Commissioner of Labor and Superintendent of Public Instruction shall be four (4) years from the second Monday of January next after their election. The said officers shall be eligible to immediately succeed themselves. No person shall be elected Governor more than two times in succession.
Section 5. The returns of every election for all elective state officers shall be sealed up and transmitted by the returning officers to the Secretary of State, directed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall, immediately after the organization of the House, and before proceeding to other business, open and publish the same in the presence of a majority of each branch of the Legislature, who shall for that purpose assemble in the hall of the House of Representatives. The persons respectively having the highest number of votes for either of the said offices shall be declared duly elected; but in case two or more shall have an equal and the highest number of votes for either of said offices, the Legislature shall, forthwith, by joint ballot, choose one of the said persons so having an equal and the highest number of votes for said office.
Section 6. The Governor shall be Commander-in-Chief of the militia of the State, except when in service of the United States, and may call out the same to execute the laws, protect the public health, suppress insurrection, and repel invasion.
Section 7. The Governor shall have power to convoke the Legislature, or the Senate only, on extraordinary occasions. At extraordinary sessions, no subject shall be acted upon, except such as the Governor may recommend for consideration.
Section 8. The Governor shall cause the laws of the State to be faithfully executed, and shall conduct in person or in such manner as may be prescribed by law, all intercourse and business of the State with other states and with the United States, and he shall be a conservator of the peace throughout the State.
Section 9. At every session of the Legislature, and immediately upon its organization, the Governor shall communicate by message, delivered to a joint session of the two Houses, upon the condition of the State; and shall recommend such matters to the Legislature as he shall judge expedient. He shall also transmit a copy, to each house, of the full report of each State officer and State commission. He shall communicate, from time to time, such matters as he may elect or the Legislature may require.
Section 10. There is hereby created a Pardon and Parole Board to be composed of five members; three to be appointed by the Governor; one by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court; one by the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Court of Appeals or its successor. An attorney member of the Board shall be prohibited from representing in the courts of this state persons charged with felony offenses. The appointed members shall hold their offices coterminous with that of the Governor and shall be removable for cause only in the manner provided by law for elective officers not liable to impeachment. It shall be the duty of the Board to make an impartial investigation and study of applicants for commutations, pardons or paroles, and by a majority vote make its recommendations to the Governor of all deemed worthy of clemency. Provided, the Pardon and Parole Board shall have no authority to make recommendations regarding parole for convicts sentenced to death or sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.
The Governor shall have the power to grant, after conviction and after favorable recommendation by a majority vote of the said Board, commutations, pardons and paroles for all offenses, except cases of impeachment, upon such conditions and with such restrictions and limitations as he may deem proper, subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by law. Provided, the Governor shall not have the power to grant paroles if a convict has been sentenced to death or sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. The Legislature shall have the authority to prescribe a minimum mandatory period of confinement which must be served by a person prior to being eligible to be considered for parole. The Governor shall have power to grant after conviction, reprieves, or leaves of absence not to exceed sixty (60) days, without the action of said Board. He shall communicate to the Legislature, at each regular session, each case of reprieve, commutation, parole or pardon, granted, stating the name of the convict, the crime of which he was convicted, the date and place of conviction, and the date of commutation, pardon, parole and reprieve.
Section 11. Every bill which shall have passed the Senate and House of Representatives, and every resolution requiring the assent of both branches of the Legislature, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Governor; if he approve, he shall sign it; if not, he shall return it with his objections to the house in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large in the Journal and proceed to reconsider it. If, after such reconsideration, two-thirds of the members elected to that house shall agree to pass the bill or joint resolution, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other house, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered; and, if approved by two-thirds of the members elected to that house, it shall become a law, notwithstanding the objections of the Governor. In all such cases, the vote in both houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the members voting shall be entered on the Journal of each house respectively. If any bill or resolution shall not be returned by the Governor within five days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Legislature shall, by their adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall not become a law without the approval of the Governor. No bill shall become a law after the final adjournment of the Legislature, unless approved by the Governor within fifteen days after such adjournment.
Section 12. Every bill passed by the Legislature, making appropriations of money embracing distinct items, shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the Governor; if he disapproves the bill, or any item, or appropriation therein contained, he shall communicate such disapproval, with his reasons therefor, to the house in which the bill shall have originated, but all items not disapproved shall have the force and effect of law according to the original provisions of the bill. Any item or items so disapproved shall be void, unless repassed by a two-thirds vote, according to the rules and limitations prescribed in the preceding section in reference to other bills: Provided, That this section shall not relieve emergency bills of the requirement of the three-fourths vote.
Section 13. The Governor shall commission all officers not otherwise commissioned by law. All commissions shall run in the name and by the authority of the "State of Oklahoma," be signed by the Governor, sealed with the Great Seal of the State of Oklahoma, and attested by the Secretary of State. When any office shall become vacant, he shall, unless otherwise provided by law, appoint a person to fill such vacancy, who shall continue in office until a successor shall have been duly elected or appointed, and qualified according to law.
Section 14. In case of a disagreement between the two houses of the Legislature, at a regular or special session, with respect to the time of adjournment, the Governor may, if the facts be certified to him, by the presiding officer of the house first moving the adjournment, adjourn them to such time as he shall deem proper, not beyond the day of the next stated meeting of the Legislature. He may convoke the Legislature at or adjourn it to another place, when, in his opinion, the public safety or welfare, or the safety or health of the members require it: Provided, however, That such change or adjournment shall be concurred in by a two-thirds vote of all the members elected to each branch of the Legislature.
The Lieutenant GovernorEdit
Section 15. The Lieutenant Governor shall possess the same qualifications of eligibility for office as the Governor. He shall be president of the Senate, but shall have only a casting vote therein, and also in joint vote of both houses. If, during a vacancy of the office of Governor, the Lieutenant Governor shall be impeached, displaced, resign, die or be absent from the State, or become incapable of performing the duties of the office, the president, pro tempore, of the Senate, shall act as Governor until the vacancy be filled or the disability shall cease; and if the president, pro tempore, of the Senate, for any of the above enumerated causes, shall become incapable of performing the duties pertaining to the office of Governor, the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall act as Governor until the vacancy be filled or the disability shall cease. Further provisions for succession to the office of Governor shall be prescribed by law.
Section 16. In case of impeachment of the Governor, or of his death, failure to qualify, resignation, removal from the State, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the office, the said office, with its compensation, shall devolve upon the Lieutenant Governor for the residue of the term or until the disability shall be removed.
The Secretary of StateEdit
Section 17. The Secretary of State shall keep a register of the official acts of the Governor, and when necessary, shall attest them, and shall lay copies of the same, together with copies of all papers relative thereto, before either house of the Legislature when required to do so. He shall also perform such other duties as shall be prescribed by law.
Section 18. The Secretary of State shall be the custodian of the Seal of the State, and authenticate therewith all official acts of the Governor except his approval of laws. The said seal shall be called "The Great Seal of the State of Oklahoma."
The State Auditor and InspectorEdit
Section 19. The State Auditor and Inspector must have had at least three years' experience as an expert accountant; his duties shall be, without notice to such treasurer, to examine the state and all county treasurers' books, accounts and cash on hand or in bank at least twice each year, and publish his report as to every such treasurer once each year. For the purpose of such examination he shall take complete possession of such treasurer's office. He shall also prescribe a uniform system of bookkeeping for the use of all treasurers. The State Auditor and Inspector shall perform such other duties and have such other powers as may be prescribed by law.
The Commissioner of LaborEdit
Section 20. A Department of Labor is hereby created to be under the control of a Commissioner of Labor whose duties shall be prescribed by law.
Section 21. The Legislature shall create a Board of Arbitration and Conciliation in the Department of Labor and the Commissioner of Labor shall be ex-officio chairman.
The Insurance CommissionerEdit
Section 22. There is hereby established an Insurance Department, which shall be charged with the execution of all laws now in force, or which shall hereafter be passed, in relation to insurance and insurance companies doing business in the State.
Section 23. There shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State, at the first general election, a chief officer of said department, who shall be styled "The Insurance Commissioner," whose term of office shall be four years: Provided, That the first term of the Insurance Commissioner so elected, shall expire at the time of the expiration of the term of office of the first Governor elected. Said Insurance Commissioner shall be at least twenty-five years of age and well versed in insurance matters.
Section 24. The Insurance Commissioner shall give bond, perform such duties, and possess such further qualifications as may be prescribed by law.
Department of MinesEdit
Section 25. There is hereby created a Department of Mines, which shall be charged with the execution of all laws now in force or which shall hereafter be passed in relation to mining activities and corporations engaged in mining activities within the state.
Section 26 repealed by State Question No. 594 at election held August 26, 1986
- Section 26. The Legislature shall create mining districts and provide for the appointment or election of Assistant Inspectors therein, who shall be under the general control of the Chief Mine Inspector, and the Legislature shall define their qualifications and duties and fix their compensation.
Commissioner of Charities and CorrectionsEdit
Sections 27 – 30 repealed by by State Question No. 509 at election held July 22, 1975, effective January 8, 1979
- Section 27. A Commissioner of Charities and Corrections shall be elected in the same manner, at the same time, and for the same term as shall the Governor. Said officer may be of either sex, and shall be twenty-five years of age or over; in all other respects said officer shall have the qualifications which shall be required of the Governor.
- Section 28. The Commissioner of Charities and Corrections shall have the power and it is hereby made his or her duty, to investigate the entire system of public charities and corrections, to examine into the condition and management of all prisons, jails, alms-houses, reformatories, reform and industrial schools, hospitals, infirmaries, dispensaries, orphanages, and all public and private retreats and asylums, which derive their support wholly or in part from the State, or from any county or municipality within the State; and the officers of the various institutions named herein shall promptly, upon demand, furnish the said Commissioner with such information, relating to their respective institutions, as shall be demanded by said Commissioner, in writing. The said Commissioner shall have the power to summon any person to appear and produce such books and papers as shall be designated in the summons, and to give testimony under oath concerning the matter and institution under investigation. The said Commissioner shall have the power to administer oaths to such persons as may be summoned, and to enforce all such powers as are given to notaries public when they are taking depositions. A full report of said investigation, including the testimony, shall be promptly made to the Governor and shall be transmitted by him to the next Legislature with any suggestions which he may desire to make.
- Section 29. On the first day of October of each year, and at any time on request of the Governor, the said Commissioner shall make a full and complete report of the operations and administration of said office, with such suggestions as said Commissioner may deem suitable and pertinent.
- Section 30. The Legislature shall have the power to alter, amend, or add to the duties of, or grant additional authority to, such Commissioner.
Board of AgricultureEdit
Section 31. A Board of Agriculture is hereby created to be composed of five members all of whom shall be farmers and shall be selected in the manner prescribed by law. Said Board shall be maintained as a part of the State government, and shall have jurisdiction over all matters affecting animal industry and animal quarantine regulation, and shall be the Board of Regents of all State Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges, and shall discharge such other duties and receive such compensation as now is, or may hereafter be, provided by law.
Section 31a. There is hereby created a Board of Regents for the Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College and all Agricultural and Mechanical Schools and Colleges maintained in whole or in part by the State. The Board shall consist of nine (9) members, eight (8) members to be appointed by the Governor by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, a majority of whom shall be farmers, and the ninth member shall be the President of the State Board of Agriculture. Any vacancy occurring among the appointed members shall be filled by appointment of the Governor by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The members of the Board shall be removable only for cause as provided by law for the removal of officers not subject to impeachment. The members shall be appointed for terms of eight (8) years each, with one term expiring each year, provided that the members of the first Board shall be appointed for terms of from one (1) to eight (8) years respectively. Provided that no State, National or County officer shall ever be appointed as a member of said Board of Regents until two years after his tenure as such officer has ceased.
Commissioners of the Land OfficeEdit
- A. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, State Auditor, Superintendent of Public Instruction and the President of the Board of Agriculture shall constitute the Commissioners of the Land Office, who shall have charge of the sale, rental, disposal and managing of the school lands and other public lands of the state, and of the funds and proceeds derived therefrom, under rules and regulations prescribed by the Legislature.
- B. Should the offices of State Examiner and Inspector and State Auditor be consolidated in the office of State Auditor and Inspector, the State Auditor shall be replaced as a member of the Commissioners of the Land Office by the State Auditor and Inspector. Should the offices not be so consolidated, the membership of the Board shall remain as prescribed in subsection A of this section.
Section 33. An account shall be kept by the officers and commissioners of the State of all moneys and choses in action disbursed or otherwise disposed of severally by them, from all sources, and for every service performed; and a report thereof shall be made semi-annually and as often as may be required by law, to the Governor under oath. The Governor may, at any time, require information in writing, under oath, from all officers and commissioners of the State, and all officers of State institutions, penal, eleemosynary, educational, and industrial on any subject relating to their respective offices and institutions; which information, when so required, shall be furnished by such officers and managers; and any officer or manager who, at any time, shall make a false report, shall be punished as by law provided.
Section 34. Each of the officers in this article named shall, at stated times, during his continuance in office, receive for his services a compensation, which shall not be increased or diminished during the term for which he shall have been elected; nor shall he receive to his use, any fees, cost, or perquisites of office or other compensation.
Section 35. In the center shall be a five pointed star, with one ray directed upward. The center of the star shall contain the central device of the seal of the Territory of Oklahoma, including the words, "Labor Omnia Vincit." The upper left hand ray shall contain the symbol of the ancient seal of the Cherokee Nation, namely: A seven pointed star partially surrounded by a wreath of oak leaves. The ray directed upward shall contain the symbol of the ancient seal of the Chickasaw Nation, namely: An Indian warrior standing upright with bow and shield. The lower left hand ray shall contain the symbol of the ancient seal of the Creek Nation, namely: A sheaf of wheat and a plow. The upper right hand ray shall contain the symbol of the ancient seal of the Choctaw Nation, namely: A tomahawk, bow, and three crossed arrows. The lower right hand ray shall contain the symbol of the ancient seal of the Seminole Nation, namely: A village with houses and a factory beside a lake upon which an Indian is paddling a canoe. Surrounding the central star and grouped between its rays shall be forty-five small stars, divided into five clusters of nine stars each, representing the forty-five states of the Union, to which the forty-sixth is now added. In a circular band surrounding the whole device shall be inscribed, "GREAT SEAL OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA 1907."
Article VII - Judicial DepartmentEdit
Section 1. The judicial power of this State shall be vested in Senate, sitting as a Court of Impeachment, a Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, the Court on the Judiciary, the State Industrial Court, the Court of Bank Review, the Court of Tax Review, and such intermediate appellate courts as may be provided by statute, District Courts, and such Boards, Agencies and Commissions created by the Constitution or established by statute as exercise adjudicative authority or render decisions in individual proceedings. Provided that the Court of Criminal Appeals, the State Industrial Court, the Court of Bank Review and the Court of Tax Review and such Boards, Agencies and Commissions as have been established by statute shall continue in effect, subject to the power of the Legislature to change or abolish said Courts, Boards, Agencies, or Commissions. Municipal Courts in cities or incorporated towns shall continue in effect and shall be subject to creation, abolition or alteration by the Legislature by general laws, but shall be limited in jurisdiction to criminal and traffic proceedings arising out of infractions of the provisions of ordinances of cities and towns or of duly adopted regulations authorized by such ordinances.
Section 2. The Supreme Court shall consist of nine Justices until the number shall be changed by statute and each Justice shall be from a separate district of the State. Each district shall remain as presently constituted until otherwise provided by Statute. The terms of office of the Justices of the Supreme Court shall be six years and shall commence on the second Monday of January following their election. Those appointed or elected to fill vacancies shall assume office immediately upon qualifying for the office. Each Justice, at the time of his election or appointment, shall have attained the age of thirty years, shall have been a qualified elector in the district for at least one year immediately prior to the date of filing or appointment, and shall have been a licensed practicing attorney or judge of a court of record, or both, in Oklahoma for five years preceding his election or appointment and shall continue to be a duly licensed attorney while in office to be eligible to hold the office. The Justices shall choose from among their members a Chief Justice and a Vice Chief Justice.
Section 3. From each of the Supreme Court districts and Court of Criminal Appeals districts, the voters thereof shall elect a Justice of the Supreme Court and a Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals at a non-partisan election, in a manner provided by statute. In the event intermediate appellate courts are created, the judges thereof shall be elected at a non-partisan election, in a manner provided by statute. In the event of a vacancy the Governor shall, by appointment from said district, fill such vacancy until the next election for State Officers, and at such election the vacancy for the unexpired term shall be filled by a non-partisan election in a manner provided by statute.
Section 4. The appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall be co-extensive with the State and shall extend to all cases at law and in equity; except that the Court of Criminal Appeals shall have exclusive appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases until otherwise provided by statute and in the event there is any conflict as to jurisdiction, the Supreme Court shall determine which court has jurisdiction and such determination shall be final. The original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court shall extend to a general superintendent control over all inferior courts and all Agencies, Commissions and Boards created by law. The Supreme Court, Court of Criminal Appeals, in criminal matters and all other appellate courts shall have power to issue, hear and determine writs of habeas corpus, mandamus, quo warranto, certiorari, prohibition and such other remedial writs as may be provided by law and may exercise such other and further jurisdiction as may be conferred by statute. Each of the Justices or Judges shall have power to issue writs of habeas corpus to any part of the State upon petition by or on behalf of any person held in actual custody and make such writs returnable before himself, or before the Supreme Court, other Appellate Courts, or before any District Court, or judge thereof in the State. The appellate and the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and all other appellate courts shall be invoked in the manner provided by law.
Section 5. The sessions of the Supreme Court shall be held at the seat of government, and the sessions and duration thereof shall be fixed by rule of said Court. A majority of the members of the Supreme Court shall constitute a quorum and the concurrence of the majority of said Court shall be necessary to decide any question. The jurisdiction, powers, duties and procedures of intermediate appellate courts shall be as provided by rules of the Supreme Court until otherwise provided by statute. In the event of the creation of intermediate appellate courts, all appeals shall be made to the Supreme Court, which may, by rule, determine the method of assignment to, and recall from, the intermediate appellate courts until otherwise provided by statute. When the intermediate appellate courts acquire jurisdiction in any cause and make final disposition of same, such disposition shall be final and there shall be no further right of appeal except for issuance of a writ of certiorari ordered by a majority of the Supreme Court which may affirm, modify or make such other changes in said decision as it deems proper. The Supreme Court and intermediate appellate court decisions shall be in such form as the Supreme Court shall specify by rule and the Court of Criminal Appeals decisions shall be in such form as it shall specify by rule, until otherwise provided by statute. The Supreme Court shall appoint a Clerk of the Supreme Court, who shall serve at the pleasure of the Supreme Court and who shall perform the duties prescribed by law and rules of the Supreme Court. The Clerk of the Supreme Court in office on the effective date of this Article shall continue in office for the duration of his elective term.
Section 6. Except with reference to the Senate sitting as a Court of Impeachment and the Court on the Judiciary, general administrative authority over all courts in this State, including the temporary assignment of any judge to a court other than that for which he was selected, is hereby vested in the Supreme Court and shall be exercised by the Chief Justice in accordance with its rules. The Supreme Court shall appoint an administrative director and staff, who shall serve at its pleasure to assist the Chief Justice in his administrative duties and to assist the Court on the Judiciary.
- (a) The State shall be divided by the Legislature into judicial districts, each consisting of an entire county or of contiguous counties. There shall be one District Court for each judicial district, which shall have such number of District Judges, Associate District Judges and Special Judges as may be prescribed by statute. The District Court shall have unlimited original jurisdiction of all justiciable matters, except as otherwise provided in this Article, and such powers of review of administrative action as may be provided by statute. Existing electing districts for all who are or who become District Judges and Associate District Judges under the terms of this Article shall remain as they are constituted for the offices formerly held by such persons on the effective date of this Article, until changed by statute. The Legislature may at any time delegate authority to the Supreme Court to designate by court rule the division of the State into districts and the number of judges.
- (b) All Courts in the State of Oklahoma, except those specifically provided for in this Article, are hereby abolished at midnight on the day preceding the effective date of this Article and their jurisdiction, functions, powers and duties are transferred to the respective District Courts, and, until otherwise provided by statute, all non-judicial functions vested in such courts are transferred to the District Courts and Judges thereof. No person shall file a declaration of candidacy for any such court abolished herein on or after July 1, 1968.
- (c) Each court into which jurisdiction of other courts is transferred shall succeed to and assume jurisdiction of all causes, matters and proceedings then pending, with full power and authority to dispose of them and to carry into execution or otherwise to give effect to all orders, judgments and decrees theretofore entered by the predecessor courts.
- (d) The files, books, papers, records, documents, monies, securities and other property in the possession, custody, or control of the court hereby abolished, or in the possession, custody or control of any officer thereof, are transferred to the District Court; and thereafter all proceedings in all court shall be matters of record.
- (e) In the event a transfer or transition has not been provided for by law, the Supreme Court shall by rule provide for the orderly transfer or transition.
- (a) The Judges of the District Court shall be District Judges, Associate District Judges, and Special Judges. Each District Judge, each Associate District Judge, and each Special Judge shall be selected according to the provisions of this Article.
- (b) Superior Court Judges shall become District Court Judges on the effective date of this Article.
- (c) Common Pleas, County, Children's and Juvenile Court Judges shall become Associate District Judges in the following manner: Those Judges whose terms expire after the effective date of this Article shall become Associate District Judges on the effective date of this Article. Those Judges whose terms expire on or before the effective date of this Article, shall be subject to selection, in a manner provided by law, as Associate District Judges for a term expiring the day preceding the second Monday in January, 1971, and the selectees shall become Associate District Judges on the effective date of this Article.
- (d) There shall be at least one Associate District Judge for each County in the State. The number of District Judges, including Superior Court Judges who become District Judges, and Associate District Judges shall continue at the number held over under this Article until changed by statute. The District Judges and Associate District Judges shall exercise all jurisdiction in the District Court except as otherwise provided by law. The District Courts, or any Judges thereof, shall have the power to issue any writs, remedial or otherwise necessary or proper to carry into effect their orders, judgments, or decrees.
- (e) The appointment of any Judge to any Court abolished by this Article made after its adoption shall be for a period ending on the day preceding the effective day of this Article.
- (f) The terms of District Judges and Associate District Judges shall be for four years commencing on the second Monday of January in 1971 and vacancies shall be filled in the manner provided by law.
- (g) Each District Judge shall have had prior to election or appointment, a minimum of four years' experience as a licensed practicing attorney, or as a judge of a court of record, or both, within the State of Oklahoma; shall be a qualified elector of the respective district; and shall have such additional qualifications as may be prescribed by statute. Each Associate District Judge shall be an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Oklahoma and an elector in the County at the time of filing; and they shall have such additional qualifications as prescribed by statute. Both District Judges and Associate District Judges shall continue to be licensed attorneys while in office.
- (h) The District Judges in each judicial administrative district shall appoint special judges to serve at their pleasure. The District Judges may appoint a nonlawyer as a special judge if no qualified licensed attorney is available. The jurisdiction of Special Judges shall be limited as may be prescribed by statute. The formula used for the number of special judges to be allowed to each judicial administrative district shall be set by the Legislature. All judges of special sessions courts shall become Special Judges for the remainder of their terms.
- (i) District Judges, Associate District Judges and Special Judges may hold court anywhere in this State authorized by rule of the Supreme Court.
Section 9. District Judges and Associate District Judges shall be elected by the voters of the several respective districts or counties at a non-partisan election in the manner provided by statute.
- (a) The State shall be divided into Judicial Administrative Districts, by statute, each consisting of one or more District Court Judicial Districts.
- (b) The District Judges and Associate District Judges in each Judicial Administrative District shall select one of the District Judges to serve at their pleasure as Presiding Judge of such Judicial Administrative District. Subject to the authority of the Supreme Court, the Presiding Judge shall have general administrative authority over the Judicial Administrative District, including authority to provide for divisions, general or specialized, and for appropriate times and places of holding court subject to law.
- (a) Judges and Supreme Court Justices shall receive for their services salaries provided by statute. The salaries of Judges and Justices shall not be diminished, but may be increased during their respective terms of office. Judicial officers may be paid such actual and necessary expenses as may be provided by statute. All basic salaries and expenses, or any portion thereof, of judges of District Courts shall be paid by the State unless otherwise provided by Statute, with such additional salaries as may be provided by statute to be paid by the respective districts or counties.
- (b) No Justices or Judges, except those of Municipal Courts, shall engage in the practice of law nor hold any other office or position of profit under the United States or this State or any municipal corporation or political subdivision of this State, nor shall hold office in any political party. Provided that the Judges of the Court on the Judiciary, the Court of Tax Review and the Court of Bank Review and the Judges of any other such Special Courts may serve in such capacities in addition to their other judicial office. Compensation for service in the National Guard or the armed forces of the United States for such periods of time as may be determined by rules of the Supreme Court shall not be deemed "profit".
- (c) Notwithstanding the provisions of this Article relating to terms of office, the Legislature may provide by statute for a maximum age qualification for election or appointment to office and for the retirement of Justices and Judges automatically at a prescribed age or after a certain number of years of service, or both. The compensation, age of retirement and procedure for retirement shall be prescribed by statute. Any retired Justice or Judge may, in the discretion of the Supreme Court, be assigned to Judicial service. The compensation for such service shall be that to which the Justice or Judge is entitled in accordance with benefits as provided by statute.
Section 12. Except to the extent inconsistent with the provisions of this Article, all provisions of law and rules of court in force on the effective date of this Article shall continue in effect until superseded in a manner authorized by law.
Section 13. In the event the abolition of any court or office hereunder is held by any court of competent jurisdiction to not take effect upon the effective date of this Article, then such court or office shall be abolished and terminated at the expiration of the term of the officer holding such office with the same provisions applying thereto, as if abolished on the effective date of this Article.
Section 14. This Judicial Article shall become effective on January 13, 1969; except those provisions expressly authorizing or directing a different date; and except those provisions relating to the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, intermediate appellate courts and the Justices and Judges of such Courts, which shall become effective immediately upon the adoption of this Judicial Article. On or after the first Tuesday after the first Monday in January, 1968, the Legislature shall enact the necessary and appropriate laws to implement and place in operation the provisions of this Article.
Section 15. In all jury trials the jury shall return a general verdict, and no law in force nor any law hereafter enacted, shall require the court to direct the jury to make findings of particular questions of fact, but the court may, in its discretion, direct such special findings.
Section 16. Article VII of the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma is hereby repealed.
- Section 16 is no longer in effect pursuant to Section 7 of Article VIIB
Article VIIA – Court on the JudiciaryEdit
- (a) In addition to other methods and causes prescribed by the Constitution and laws, the judges of any court, exercising judicial power under the provisions of Article VII, or under any other provision, of the Constitution of Oklahoma, shall be subject to removal from office, or to compulsory retirement from office, for causes herein specified, by proceedings in the Court on the Judiciary.
- (b) Cause for removal from office shall be: Gross neglect of duty; corruption in office; habitual drunkenness; commission while in office of any offense involving moral turpitude; gross partiality in office; oppression in office; or other grounds as may be specified hereafter by the legislature.
- (c) Cause for compulsory retirement from office, with or without compensation, shall be mental or physical disability preventing the proper performance of official duty, or incompetence to perform the duties of the office.
- (a) There is created a Court on the Judiciary, hereinafter referred to as the Court, divided into a Trial Division and an Appellate Division. The Court is vested, subject to the provisions of this Article, with sole and exclusive jurisdiction to hear and determine causes arising thereunder.
- (b) The Trial Division shall be composed of nine (9) members, eight (8) of whom shall be the district judges senior in service, but under sixty (60) years of age, with no two (2) from the same Supreme Court Judicial District (in case of equal seniority, the eldest in years to serve), and one ::(1) active member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, chosen by its Executive Council or other body exercising similar powers.
- (c) The Appellate Division shall be composed of two (2) members of the Supreme Court, chosen by that court; one (1) member of the Court of Criminal Appeals, chosen by that court; one (1) active member of the Oklahoma Bar Association, chosen by its Executive Council or other body exercising similar powers; and five (5) district judges, senior in service but under sixty-five (65) years of age; except that no more than one (1) district judge from any Supreme Court Judicial District shall serve. In the event of equal seniority, the eldest in years shall serve. If any district judge is qualified for both divisions, he shall serve on the Appellate Division and the next in qualification shall serve on the Trial Division.
- (d) Within thirty (30) days after the adoption of this amendment, and thereafter prior to the first day in February of each odd-numbered year, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Presiding Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals and the President of the Bar Association shall certify to the Secretary of State the names of the judges who are chosen, respectively, by the said courts and by the Oklahoma Bar Association. The Secretary of State shall determine the district judges who hold membership on the Trial Division and the Appellate Division. Promptly thereafter he shall notify the members of the respective divisions to meet at the State Capitol on a day certain, within thirty (30) days, for purposes of organization and of making or amending rules of procedure.
- (e) Members of the courts so designated shall serve until March First of the odd-numbered year next after the year in which they are named. The attainment of the age limit specified shall not terminate their service during the term.
- (a) Subject to the provisions of this Article, each division of the Court shall select its presiding judge, and shall be judge of the qualifications and the disqualification of its own members and shall make and publish its own rules of procedure. Each division shall meet on call of its presiding judge or three (3) of its members; a majority of the authorized membership of either division of the court shall constitute a quorum for the exercise of any or all of the jurisdiction of that division, regardless of whether or not vacancies exist in the membership of that division.
- (b) The Clerk of the Supreme Court shall be the clerk of the court. He shall perform his duties under the direction of the Court or of the presiding judges.
- (c) In the exercise of its jurisdiction, the Court is vested with full judicial power and authority, including the power to summon witnesses to appear and testify under oath and to compel the production of books, papers, documents, records and other evidential objects; to issue all manner of judicial and remedial process and writs, legal or equitable; to provide for discovery procedures in advance of trial; to make rules governing procedure; to grant full immunity from prosecution or punishment when deemed necessary and proper in order to compel the giving of testimony under oath or the production of books, papers, documents, records or other evidential objects. The specific enumeration of powers herein shall not derogate from the existence of other judicial power and authority in the Court, or from the exercise thereof in aid of its jurisdiction.
- (a) The jurisdiction of the Trial Division of the Court may be invoked by a petition, filed either by the Supreme Court or the Chief Justice thereof; by the Governor; by the Attorney General; or by the Executive Secretary of the Oklahoma Bar Association when directed so to do by a vote of a majority of all members of its Executive Council; or by Resolution of the House of Delegates or by Resolution of the House of Representatives of the State of Oklahoma. The petition shall state the name of the respondent; the grounds upon which his removal from office or compulsory retirement from office is sought; and such other matters as may be specified by the rules of the Trial Division. It shall be subject to amendment by order of either division of the Court.
- (b) Immediately upon the filing of the petition, the Clerk shall notify the presiding officer of the Trial Division, and the respondent named therein, in accordance with the rules of the Trial Division. The presiding judge of the Trial Division shall secure from the Executive Council of the Oklahoma Bar Association a panel of five (5) active members of the Association from which the presiding judge shall designate the prosecutor, and any necessary assistant, to conduct the proceeding against the respondent.
- (c) The Trial Division or the presiding judge shall set the matter for hearing, not less than sixty (60) days after notice of the filing of the petition shall have been given the respondent. In all procedural matters not covered by rule of the Trial Division, the provisions of the Code of Civil Procedure, or of the common law of Oklahoma, shall be followed, so far as they may be applicable.
- (d) Pending the determination of the proceedings, the Trial Division in its discretion may suspend the respondent from the exercise of his office. After full hearing, the Trial Division shall render such judgment as the facts may justify. No judgment shall extend further than: (1) to removal of the respondent from office, with or without disqualification to hold any public office of honor, trust, or profit under this State, or (2) to compulsory retirement from office; but such a proceeding, regardless of result, shall not bar or prejudice any other proceeding, civil or criminal, authorized by law. A judicial officer who is a member of the retirement compensation system prescribed by this Article and is compulsory retired shall receive the retirement compensation to which his term of service entitled him. If he is not qualified for full retirement compensation, he may receive such compensation as the Court may decree, in proportion to time served and in accordance with principles of justice and equity, alike as to amount, commencement of payment, terms of payment, or other relevant conditions or limitations.
- (a) From any judgment of the Trial Division, the respondent or the prosecutor may appeal to the Appellate Division, by filing a notice of appeal with the Clerk of the Supreme Court, within ten days after entry of the judgment. The notice shall be served upon the opposite party in the manner prescribed by the rules of the Appellate Division.
- (b) The preparation and certification of the record upon appeal and all proceedings upon the appeal, not prescribed by this action, shall be governed by the rules of the Appellate Division.
- (c) The review in the Appellate Division shall be an equity appeal, as to both law and fact. The Appellate Division may affirm, modify or reverse the judgment of the Trial Division, or enter a new judgment, as justice may require.
- (d) If justice requires, the Appellate Division may hear additional evidence upon the appeal, upon a showing to the satisfaction of the Division that the additional evidence is material and that there were good reasons for failure to present it to the Trial Division.
- (a) In all proceedings before the Court the established rules for disqualification of judges for interest, prejudice or partiality shall apply. No district judge shall sit in a matter in which the respondent is a judge of a court within his district court judicial district. In the event of the disqualification or failure to act of a member of the Court, a judge pro tem to sit in his place shall be named by the authority appointing him, if he is a district judge, the qualified district judge from his Supreme Court judicial district, next in seniority, shall serve as judge pro tem.
- (b) Members of the Court shall serve without compensation, but shall receive the allowance for expense permitted district judges serving outside their districts.
- (c) The prosecutors shall receive such fair and just compensation as the respective division of the Court shall award for service before that division.
- (d) The Legislature shall appropriate such sums as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Article.
Section 7. No other court shall have jurisdiction to restrict or control or review the orders of the Appellate Division of the Court on the Judiciary and no court except the Appellate Division shall have jurisdiction to restrict, control or review the orders of the Trial Division. District and Superior Courts shall, on direction of the Division of the Court on the Judiciary, aid in carrying out its procedure and mandates.
Article VIIB - Selection of Justices and JudgesEdit
- (a) The provisions of this Article shall govern the selection and tenure of all Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of the Court of Criminal Appeals of the State of Oklahoma, to which the provisions hereof may be extended as hereinafter provided, other provisions of the Constitution or statutes of the State of Oklahoma to the contrary notwithstanding, and the provisions of Article VII as proposed by House Joint Resolution No. 508 of the First Session of the Thirty-first Oklahoma Legislature to the contrary notwithstanding.
- (b) As used in this Section, "Judicial Office" means the offices of Justice of the Supreme Court and Judges of the Court of Criminal Appeals and "Judicial Officer" means a Justice or Judge of each such court, excluding retired or supernumerary Justices or Judges.
- (a) There is established as a part of the Judicial Department a Judicial Nominating Commission of thirteen (13) members, to consist of:
- (1) six (6) members to be appointed by the Governor, one (1) from each congressional district established by the Statutes of Oklahoma and existing at the date of the adoption of this Article, none of whom shall be admitted to practice law in the State of Oklahoma;
- (2) six (6) members, one (1) from each congressional district established by the Statutes of Oklahoma and existing at the date of the adoption of this Article who are, however, members of the Oklahoma Bar Association and who have been elected by the other active members of their district under procedures adopted by the Board of Governors of the Oklahoma Bar Association, until changed by statute; and
- (3) one (1) member at large who shall not have been admitted to the practice of law in the State of Oklahoma or any other State, but who shall be a resident of the State of Oklahoma, to be selected by not less than eight (8) members of the Nominating Commission. In the event eight (8) members of the Commission cannot agree upon the member at large within thirty (30) days of the initial organization of the Commission or within thirty (30) days of a vacancy in the member at large position, the Governor shall make the appointment of the member at large.
- The Commission shall elect one of its members to serve as Chairman for a term of one (1) year.
- The six (6) lay members of the Commission who are appointed by the Governor shall be appointed within ninety (90) days from the date that this Article becomes effective. Two (2) members shall be appointed for a term of two (2) years, two (2) members for a term of four (4) years, and two (2) members for a term of six (6) years. The Oklahoma Bar Association shall hold its election and certify to the Secretary of State its members within ninety (90) days from the effective date of this Article, two (2) of whom shall be elected for a term of two (2) years, two (2) for a term of four (4) years, and two (2) for a term of six (6) years. Thereafter all of the members of the Commission, whether elected or appointed, shall serve for a term of six (6) years, except that the member at large shall serve for a term of two (2) years.
- (b) Vacancies arising during the term of any lay commissioner, other than the member at large, shall be filled by appointment by the Governor for the remainder of his term. Vacancies of any lawyer commissioner shall be filled by the Board of Governors of the Oklahoma Bar Association for the remainder of his term.
- (c) In the event of vacancy in the member at large position, the said vacancy shall be filled in the same manner as the original selection.
- (d) Of those Commissioners named by the Governor, not more than three (3) shall belong to any one political party.
- (e) The concurrence of the majority of Commissioners in office at the time shall be sufficient to decide any question, unless otherwise provided herein. The Commission shall have jurisdiction to determine whether the qualifications of nominees to hold Judicial Office have been met and to determine the existence of vacancies on the Commission.
- (f) No Commissioner, while a member of the Commission, shall hold any other public office by election or appointment or any official position in a political party and he shall not be eligible, while a member of the Commission and for five (5) years thereafter, for nomination as a Judicial Officer.
- (g) Commissioners shall serve without compensation but the Legislature shall provide funds to reimburse them for their necessary travel and lodging expenses while performing their duties as such Commissioners.
- (h) No Commissioner shall be permitted to succeed himself.
- (i) As used herein, the words "Oklahoma Bar Association" shall include any successor thereof and any future form of the organized Bar of this State.
Section 4. When a vacancy in any Judicial Office, however arising, occurs or is certain to occur, the Judicial Nominating Commission shall choose and submit to the Governor and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court three (3) nominees, each of whom has previously notified the Commission in writing that he will serve as a Judicial Officer if appointed. The Governor shall appoint one (1) of the nominees to fill the vacancy, but if he fails to do so within sixty (60) days the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall appoint one (1) of the nominees, the appointment to be certified by the Secretary of State.
Section 5. Each Judicial Officer elected before or after the adoption of this Article shall, unless removed for cause, serve out the term for which he is elected and those Judicial Officers serving at the date of the adoption of this Article, whose Judicial Office comes under the provision of this Article on the date of the expiration of said term, shall be deemed to have been appointed as provided herein and eligible to file a declaration of candidacy to succeed themselves as provided in this Article. If retained in office, the term of each such Judicial Officer shall be six (6) years commencing the second Monday in January following such election.
The term and election of each Judicial Officer appointed to fill a vacancy after the adoption of this Article shall be as follows: If such appointed officer has served or will have served twelve (12) months on or before the next general election following appointment, such officer may file for election for the remainder of the term for which such officer was appointed, or for a six (6) year term, whichever is applicable, within the time and in the manner elected Judicial Officers file their candidacy under this Article. If such appointed officer has not served or will not have served twelve (12) months on or before the next general election following appointment, such officer shall continue in office until the second general election following appointment and may file for election for the remainder of the term or for a six (6) year term, whichever is applicable, as herein provided.
Section 6. No Judicial Officer appointed or retained in office under the provisions hereof shall make, directly or indirectly, any contribution to or hold office in a political party or organization.
Section 7. This proposed amendment to the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma as set forth herein shall be effective upon adoption and shall become operative only and in the event the amendment of Article VII of the Constitution proposed by House Joint Resolution No. 508, of the First Session of the Thirty-first Oklahoma Legislature, repealing the previously existing Article VII of the Oklahoma Constitution and adopting in lieu thereof a new Article VII of the Constitution is approved by the people.
Article VIII - Impeachment and Removal from OfficeEdit
Section 1. The Governor and other elective state officers, including the Justices of the Supreme Court, shall be liable and subject to impeachment for wilful neglect of duty, corruption in office, habitual drunkenness, incompetency, or any offense involving moral turpitude committed while in office. All elected state officers, including Justices of the Supreme Court and Judges of the Court of Criminal Appeals, shall be automatically suspended from office upon their being declared guilty of a felony by a court of competent jurisdiction and their pay and allowances, otherwise payable to such official, shall be withheld during the period of such suspension. In the event such verdict of guilty is reversed by a court of competent jurisdiction on appeal, such accumulated pay and allowances which have been withheld shall be paid to such official and he shall be automatically reinstated in office to serve the remaining part of the term for which he was elected. Such official shall not be entitled to any pay or allowances for a period of time after the term of office would otherwise have expired and he shall not be entitled to reinstatement in office after the expiration of the term for which he was elected. Whenever any Justice of the Supreme Court or Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals is suspended by reasons of this section, the Governor shall be authorized to appoint a temporary Justice or Judge to serve during the period of such suspension and such temporary Justice or Judge shall be paid for his services the compensation allowed for such regular Justice or Judge.
Section 2. All elective officers, not liable to impeachment, shall be subject to removal from office in such manner and for such causes as may be provided by law.
Section 3. When sitting as a Court of Impeachment, the Senate shall be presided over by the Chief Justice, or if he is absent or disqualified, then one of the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court, to be selected by it, except in cases where all the members of said court are absent or disqualified, or in cases of impeachment of any Justice of the Supreme Court, then the Senate shall elect one of its own members as a presiding officer for such purpose. The House of Representatives shall present all impeachments.
Section 4. When the Senate is sitting as a Court of Impeachment, the Senators shall be on oath, or affirmation, impartially to try the party impeached, and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators present.
Section 5. Judgment of impeachment shall not extend beyond removal from office, but this shall not prevent punishment of any such officer on charges growing out of the same matter by the courts of the State.
Section 6. The Legislature shall pass such laws as are necessary for carrying into effect the provisions of this article.
Article IX - CorporationsEdit
Section 1. As used in this article, the term "corporation" or "company" shall include all associations and joint stock companies having any power or privileges, not possessed by individuals, and exclude all municipal corporations and public institutions owned or controlled by the State; the term "charter" shall mean the charter of incorporation, by or under which any corporation is formed. The term "license" shall mean the authority under which all foreign corporations are permitted to transact business in this State.
Railroad, Transportation, Transmission and Public Service CorporationsEdit
Section 2. Every railroad, oil pipe, car, express, telephone or telegraph corporation or association organized or authorized to do a transportation or transmission business under the laws of this State for such purpose, shall, each respectively, have the right to construct and operate its line between any points in this State, and as such to connect at the State line with like lines; and every such company shall have the right with its road or line, to intersect, connect with, or cross any railroad or such line.
Section 3. Every railroad, car, or express company, shall each respectively receive and transport without delay or discrimination each other's cars, loaded or empty, tonnage, and passengers, under such rules and regulations as may be prescribed by law or any commission created by this Constitution or by act of the Legislature, for that purpose.
Section 4. All oil pipe companies shall be subject to the reasonable control and regulation of the Corporation Commission, and shall receive and transport each other's tonnage, or oils, or commodities, under such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by law, or such commission.
Section 5. All telephone and telegraph lines, operated for hire, shall each respectively, receive and transmit each other's messages without delay or discrimination, and make physical connections with each other's lines, under such rules and regulations as shall be prescribed by law, or by any commission created by this Constitution, or any act of the Legislature, for that purpose.
Section 6. Railroads heretofore constructed, or which may hereafter be constructed in this State, are hereby declared public highways. Every railroad or other public service corporation organized or doing business in this State, under the laws or authority thereof, shall have and maintain a public office or place in this State, for the transaction of its business, where transfers of stock shall be made, and where shall be kept, for inspection by the stockholders of such corporation, books, in which shall be recorded the amount of capital stock subscribed, the names of the owners of stock, the amounts owned by them, respectively; the amount of stock paid, and by whom; the transfer of said stock, with the date of transfer; the amount of its assets and liabilities, and the names and places of residence of its officers, and such other matters required by law or by order of the Corporation Commission. The directors of every railroad company, or other public service corporation, shall hold at least one meeting annually in this State, public notice of which shall be given thirty days previously, and the president or superintendent of every railroad company and other public service corporation organized or doing business in this State, under the laws of this State, or the authority thereof, shall report annually under oath, and make such other reports as may be required by law or order of the Corporation Commission, to said Commission, their acts and doings, which report shall include such matters relating to railroads and other public service corporations as may be prescribed by law. The Legislature shall pass all necessary laws enforcing, by suitable penalties, all the provisions of this section.
Section 7. The rolling stock and all other movable property belonging to any railroad, transportation, transmission, or other public service corporation in this State, shall be considered personal property, and its real and personal property, or any part thereof, shall be liable to execution and sale in the same manner as the property of individuals; and the Legislature shall pass no laws exempting any such property from execution and sale.
Section 8. No public service corporation, or the lessees, purchasers, or managers thereof, shall consolidate the stock, property, or franchises, of such corporation with, or lease or purchase the works or franchises of, or in any way control, any other public service corporation owning or having under its control a parallel or competing line; except by enactment of the Legislature upon the recommendation of the Corporation Commission: Provided, however, That the Legislature shall never enact any law permitting any public service corporation, the lessees, purchasers, or managers thereof when such public service corporation is organized under the laws of any other State, or of the United States, to consolidate the stock, property, or franchises, of such corporation with, or lease, or purchase, the works of, franchises of, or in any way control, any other public service corporation, organized under the laws of any other State, or of the United States, owning or having under its control in this State a parallel or competing line; nor shall any officer of such corporation act as an officer of any other corporation owning or controlling a parallel or competing line.
Section 9. Upon the consent of the Corporation Commission in writing first had and obtained, any foreign or domestic railroad transportation or transmission company or corporation may lease, sell, or otherwise dispose of its property and franchises to, or may lease, buy, or otherwise acquire and operate the property and franchises of any like Company or Corporation; provided, that the Legislature may impose additional limitations or restrictions upon the rights of any railroad company or transmission company to consolidate.
Section 10. No law shall be passed by the Legislature granting the right to construct and operate a street railroad within any city, town, or village, or upon any public highway, without first acquiring the consent of the local authorities having control of the street or highway proposed to be occupied by such street railroad.
Section 11. No railroad, transportation, transmission, or other public service corporation in existence at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall have the benefit of any future legislation, except on condition of complete acceptance of all the provisions of this Constitution, applicable to railroads, transportation companies, transmission companies, and other public service corporations: Provided, That nothing herein shall be construed as validating any charter which may be invalid, or waiving any of the conditions contained in any charter.
Section 12. No railroad company shall transport, within this State, any article or commodity manufactured, mined, or produced by it, or under its authority, or which it may own, in whole or in part, or in which it may have any interest, direct or indirect, except such articles or commodities as may be necessary and intended for its use in the conduct of its business as a common carrier.
Section 13. No railroad corporation or transportation company, or transmission company shall, directly or indirectly, issue or give any free frank or free ticket, free pass or other free transportation, for any use, within this State, except to its employees and their families, its officers, agents, surgeons, physicians, and attorneys at law; to ministers of religion, traveling secretaries for railroad Young Men's Christian Associations, inmates of hospitals and charitable and eleemosynary institutions and persons exclusively engaged in charitable and eleemosynary work; to indigent, destitute and homeless persons, and to such persons when transported by charitable societies or hospitals, and the necessary agents employed in such transportations; to inmates of the National Homes, or State Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, and of Soldiers' and Sailors' Homes, including those about to enter and those returning home after discharge, and boards of managers of such Homes; to members of volunteer fire departments and their equipage, while traveling as such; to necessary caretakers of live stock, poultry, and fruit; to employees of sleeping cars, of express cars, and to linemen of telegraph and telephone companies; to Railway Mail Service employees, postoffice inspectors, customs inspectors, and immigration inspectors; to newsboys on trains, baggage agents, witnesses attending any legal investigation in which the railroad company or transportation company is interested, persons injured in wrecks, and physicians and nurses attending such persons: Provided, That this provision shall not be construed to prohibit the interchange of passes for the officers, agents, and employees of common carriers and their families; nor to prohibit any common carriers from carrying passengers free with the object of providing relief in cases of general epidemic, pestilence, or other calamitous visitation; nor to prevent them from transporting, free of charge, to their places of employment persons entering their service, and the interchange of passes to that end; and any railroad, transportation, or transmission company or any person, other than the persons excepted in this provision, who grants or uses any such free frank, free ticket, free pass, or free transportation within this State, shall be deemed guilty of a crime, and the Legislature shall provide proper penalties for the violation of any provision of this section by the railroad or transportation or transmission company, or by any individual: Provided, That nothing herein shall prevent the Legislature from extending these provisions so as to exclude such free transportations or franks from other persons.
Section 14. This section was repealed by State Question No. 643, Legis. Ref. No. 288, adopted at election held November 3, 1992.
Section 15. A Corporation Commission is hereby created, to be composed of three persons, who shall be elected by the people at a general election for State officers, and their terms of office shall be six years: Provided, Corporation Commissioners first elected under this Constitution shall hold office as follows: One shall serve until the second Monday in January, nineteen hundred and nine; one until the second Monday in January, nineteen hundred and eleven; and one until the second Monday in January nineteen hundred and thirteen; their terms to be decided by lot immediately after they shall have qualified. In case of a vacancy in said office, the Governor of the State shall fill such vacancy by appointment until the next general election, when a successor shall be elected to fill out any unexpired term.
Section 16. The qualifications of such commissioners shall be as follows: To be resident citizens of this State for over two years next preceding the election, and qualified voters under the Constitution and laws, and not less than thirty years of age; nor shall such commissioners, or either of them, be, directly or indirectly, interested in any railroad, street railway, traction line, canal, steam boat, pipe line, car line, sleeping car line, car association, express line, telephone or telegraph line, operated for hire, in this State, or out of it, or any stock, bond, mortgage, security, or earnings of any such railroad, street railway, traction line, canal, steam boat, pipe line, car line, sleeping car line, car association, express line, telephone or telegraph line, compress or elevator companies; and if such Commissioner shall voluntarily become so interested, his office shall become vacant; and if any Corporation Commissioner shall become so interested otherwise than voluntarily, he shall, within a reasonable time, divest himself of such interest; and failing to do this, his office shall become vacant. Nor shall any such commissioner hold any other office under the government of the United States, or of this State, or any other state government, and shall not, while such Commissioner, engage in any occupation or business inconsistent with his duties as such commissioner.
Section 17. Before entering upon the duties of his office, each of said commissioners shall take and subscribe to the oath of office as prescribed in this Constitution and shall, in addition thereto, swear that he is not, directly or indirectly, interested in any railroad, street railway, traction line, canal, steam boat, pipe line, car line, sleeping car line, car association, express line, telephone or telegraph line, nor in the bonds, stocks, mortgages, securities, contract or earnings of any railroad, street railway, traction line, canal, steam boat, pipe line, car line, sleeping car line, car association, express line, telephone or telegraph line; and that he will, to the best of his ability, faithfully and justly execute and enforce the provisions of this Constitution, and all the laws of this State concerning railroads, street railways, traction lines, canals, steam boats, pipe lines, car lines, sleeping car lines, car associations, express lines, telephone and telegraph lines, compress and elevator companies, and all other corporations over which said Commission has jurisdiction, which oath shall be filed with the Secretary of State.
Section 18. The Commission shall have the power and authority and be charged with the duty of supervising, regulating and controlling all transportation and transmission companies doing business in this State, in all matters relating to the performance of their public duties and their charges therefor, and of correcting abuses and preventing unjust discrimination and extortion by such companies; and to that end the Commission shall, from time to time, prescribe and enforce against such companies, in the manner hereinafter authorized, such rates, charges, classifications of traffic, and rules and regulations, and shall require them to establish and maintain all such public service, facilities, and conveniences as may be reasonable and just, which said rates, charges, classifications, rules, regulations, and requirements, the Commission may, from time to time, alter or amend. All rates, charges, classifications, rules and regulations adopted, or acted upon, by any such company, inconsistent with those prescribed by the commission, within the scope of its authority, shall be unlawful and void. The commission shall also have the right, at all times, to inspect the books and papers of all transportation and transmission companies doing business in this State, and to require from such companies, from time to time, special reports and statements, under oath, concerning their business; it shall keep itself fully informed of the physical condition of all the railroads of the State, as to the manner in which they are operated, with reference to the security and accommodation of the public, and shall, from time to time, make and enforce such requirements, rules, and regulations as may be necessary to prevent unjust or unreasonable discrimination and extortion by any transportation or transmission company in favor of, or against any person, locality, community, connecting line, or kind of traffic, in the matter of car service, train or boat schedule, efficiency of transportation, transmission, or otherwise, in connection with the public duties of such company. Before the Commission shall prescribe or fix any rate, charge or classification of traffic, and before it shall make any order, rule, regulation, or requirement directed against any one or more companies by name, the company or companies to be affected by such rate, charge, classification, order, rule, regulation, or requirement, shall first be given, by the Commission, at least ten days' notice of the time and place, when and where the contemplated action in the premises will be considered and disposed of, and shall be afforded a reasonable opportunity to introduce evidence and to be heard thereon, to the end that justice may be done, and shall have process to enforce the attendance of witnesses; and before said Commission shall make or prescribe any general order, rule, regulation, or requirement, not directed against any specific company or companies by name, the contemplated general order, rule, regulation, or requirement shall first be published one time in substance in one or more of the newspapers of general circulation published in the county in which the Capitol of this State may be located, together with the notice of the time and place, when and where the Commission will hear any objections which may be urged by any person interested, against the proposed general order, rule, regulation, or requirement; and every such general order, rule, regulation, or requirement, made by the Commission, shall be published at length, in the next annual report of the Commission. The authority of the Commission (subject to review on appeal as hereinafter provided) to prescribe rates, charges, and classifications of traffic, for transportation and transmission companies, shall, subject to regulation by law, be paramount; but its authority to prescribe any other rules, regulations or requirements for corporations or other persons shall be subject to the superior authority of the Legislature to legislate thereon by general laws: Provided, However, That nothing in this section shall impair the rights which have heretofore been, or may hereafter be, conferred by law upon the authorities of any city, town or county to prescribe rules, regulations, or rates of charges to be observed by any public service corporation in connection with any services performed by it under a municipal or county franchise granted by such city, town, or county, so far as such services may be wholly within the limits of the city, town, or county granting the franchise. Upon the request of the parties interested, it shall be the duty of the Commission, as far as possible, to effect, by mediation, the adjustment of claims, and the settlement of controversies, between transportation or transmission companies and their patrons or employees.
- A The salary of Corporation Commissioners shall be set by the Legislature and may be increased at any time during the term of their office. The purpose of this provision is to assure that all Corporation Commissioners are paid equal salaries for their service, without regard to the time of their appointment or election.
- B. The Corporation Commission shall organize by electing one of its members chairman and appointing a secretary, whose salary shall be fixed by the Legislature. A majority of said Commission shall constitute a quorum, and the concurrence of the majority of said Commission shall be necessary to decide any question.
Section 18b. As used in this article, the term "Company" shall include associations and joint stock companies having any power or privileges not possessed by individuals, and include all corporations except municipal corporations and public institutions owned or controlled by the State.
Section 19. In all matters pertaining to the public visitation, regulation, or control of corporations, and within the jurisdiction of the Commission, it shall have the powers and authority of a court of record, to administer oaths, to compel the attendance of witnesses, and the production of papers, to punish for contempt any person guilty of disrespectful or disorderly conduct in the presence of the Commission while in session, and to enforce compliance with any of its lawful orders or requirements by adjudging, and by enforcing its own appropriate process, against the delinquent or offending party or company (after it shall have been first duly cited, proceeded against by due process of law before the Commission sitting as a court, and afforded opportunity to introduce evidence and to be heard, as well against the validity, justness, or reasonableness of the order or requirement alleged to have been violated, as against the liability of the company for the alleged violation), such fines or other penalties as may be prescribed or authorized by this Constitution or by law. The Commission may be vested with such additional powers, and charged with such other duties (not inconsistent with this Constitution) as may be prescribed by law, in connection with the visitation, regulation, or control of corporations, or with the prescribing and enforcing of rates and charges to be observed in the conduct of any business where the State has the right to prescribe the rates and charges in connection therewith, or with the assessment of the property of corporations, or the appraisement of their franchises, for taxation, or with the investigation of the subject of taxation generally. Any corporation failing or refusing to obey any valid order or requirement of the Commission, within reasonable time, not less than ten days, as shall be fixed in the order, may be fined by the Commission (proceeding by due process of law as aforesaid) such sum, not exceeding five hundred dollars, as the Commission may deem proper, or such sum, in excess of five hundred dollars, as may be prescribed or authorized by law; and each day's continuance of such failure or refusal, after due service upon such corporation of the order or requirement of the Commission, shall be a separate offense: Provided, That should the operation of such order or requirement be suspended, pending any appeal therefrom, the period of such suspension shall not be computed against the company in the matter of its liability to fines or penalties.
Section 20. From any action of the Corporation Commission prescribing rates, charges, services, practices, rules or regulations of any public utility or public service corporation, or any individual, person, firm, corporation, receiver or trustee engaged in the public utility business, an appeal may be taken by any party affected, or by any person deeming himself aggrieved by any such action, or by the State, directly to the Supreme Court of the State of Oklahoma, in the manner and in the same time in which appeals may be taken to the Supreme Court from the District Courts, except that such an appeal shall be of right, and the Supreme Court may provide by rule for proceedings in the matter of appeals in any particular in which the existing rules of law are inapplicable. If such appeal be taken by the public utility or public service corporation affected by any such action, the State of Oklahoma shall be made the appellee, but in other appeals hereunder, the public utility or public service corporation affected shall be made the appellee.
An appeal from an order of the Corporation Commission affecting the rates, charges, services, practices, rules or regulations of public utilities, or public service corporations, shall be to the Supreme Court only, and in all appeals to which the State is a party it shall be represented by the Attorney for the Corporation Commission, and the Attorney General, or his duly authorized representative.
The Supreme Court's review of appealable orders of the Corporation Commission shall be judicial only, and in all appeals involving an asserted violation of any right of the parties under the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma, the Court shall exercise its own independent judgment as to both the law and the facts. In all other appeals from orders of the Corporation Commission the review by the Supreme Court shall not extend further than to determine whether the Commission has regularly pursued its authority, and whether the findings and conclusions of the Commission are sustained by the law and substantial evidence. Upon review, the Supreme Court shall enter judgment, either affirming or reversing the order of the Commission appealed from.
No court of this State, except the Supreme Court, shall have jurisdiction to review, affirm, reverse, or remand any action of the Corporation Commission with respect to the rates, charges, services, practices, rules or regulations of public utilites, or of public service corporations, or to suspend or delay the execution or operation thereof, or to enjoin, reverse, or interfere with the Corporation Commission in the performance of its official duties; provided, however, that writs of mandamus or prohibition shall lie from the Supreme Court to the Corporation Commission in all cases where such writs respectively would lie to any inferior court or officer.
Section 21. Upon the giving of notice of appeal from an order of the Corporation Commission, the Commission, if requested, shall suspend the effectiveness of the order complained of until the final disposition of the order appealed, and fix the amount of suspending or supersedeas bond. Such suspending or supersedeas bond shall be approved and filed with the Corporation Commission (or approved, on review, by the Supreme Court), and made payable to the State of Oklahoma; provided, however, that in all cases involving orders of the Corporation Commission affecting rates or charges, the suspending or supersedeas bond must be sufficient in amount and security to insure the prompt refunding, by the appealing party, to the parties entitled thereto, of all rates or charges which such appealing party may collect or receive, pending the appeal, in excess of those authorized by the order appealed from, in event such order is, by such court, affirmed on appeal. The Corporation Commission, upon the execution of such suspending or supersedeas bond, shall forthwith require the appealing party, under penalty of immediate enforcement (pending the appeal and notwithstanding any supersedeas), of the order appealed from, to keep such accounts, and make to the Corporation Commission, from time to time, such reports, verified by oath, as may, in the judgment of the Corporation Commission, suffice to show the amounts being charged or received by the appealing party, pending the appeal, in excess of the charge allowed by the order or action of the Corporation Commission appealed from, together with the names and addresses of the persons to whom such overcharges may be refundable, in case such charges made by the appealing party, pending the appeal, be not sustained on such appeal; and the Corporation Commission shall also, from time to time, require such appealing party, under like penalty, to give additional security, or to increase such suspending bond, whenever, in the opinion of the Corporation Commission, the same may be necessary to secure the prompt refunding of the overcharges aforesaid. Upon the final decision of the appeal, all amounts which the appealing party may have collected, pending the appeal, in excess of that authorized by such final decision, shall be promptly refunded by the appealing party to the parties entitled thereto, in such manner and through such method of distribution, as may be prescribed by the Corporation Commission, or by law. All such appeals, affecting the rates, charges, practices, rules or regulations of any public utility, or of any public service corporation, or any individual, person, firm, corporation, receiver or trustee engaged in the public utility business, shall have precedence upon the docket of the Supreme Court, irrespective of its place of session, next after habeas corpus cases, to the end that a plain, speedy and efficient remedy may be afforded the parties to such appeals.
Section 22. The Corporation Commission shall, whenever an appeal is taken therefrom, file with the record of the case, and as a part thereof, a written statement of the reasons upon which the action appealed from was based, and such statement shall be read and considered by the Supreme Court, upon disposing of the appeal. In no case of appeal from an order of the Corporation Commission shall any new or additional evidence be introduced in the Supreme Court, but the cause shall be heard on the record made before the Corporation Commission, and the Chairman of the Commission, under the seal of the Commission, shall certify to the Supreme Court all the facts upon which the action appealed from was based, and which may be essential for the prompt decision of the appeal, together with all evidence introduced before said Corporation Commission, as may be selected, specified or required to be certified, by any party in interest, as well as such other evidence, so introduced before the Commission as the Chairman may deem proper to certify; provided, however, that in any appeal from an order of the Corporation Commission in which a party thereto asserts the violation of any right under the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma, the Supreme Court shall require the Commission to take and receive such additional evidence as is necessary to judicially determine the rights of the parties and report the same to the Court, in such manner as the Court may prescribe, for its consideration before the appeal is finally decided.
Section 23. This section was repealed by Laws 1941, SB 61, p. 547, § 6, emerg. eff. April 28, 1941.
Section 24. The right of any person, firm, corporation, receiver or trustee to institute and prosecute in the ordinary courts of justice, any action, suit or motion against any public utility, or public service corporation, or any individual, person, firm, corporation, receiver or trustee, engaged in the public utility business, shall not be extinguished or impaired by reason of any fine or other penalty which the Corporation Commission may impose or be authorized to impose upon such public utility, public service corporation, or any individual, person, firm, corporation, receiver or trustee engaged in the public utility business, because of its breach of any public duty or because of its failure to comply with any order or requirement of the Corporation Commission; but in no such proceeding by any person, firm, corporation, receiver or trustee, against such public utility, public service corporation, or any individual, person, firm, corporation, receiver or trustee engaged in the public utility business, nor in any collateral proceeding, shall the reasonableness, justness, or validity of any rate, charge, service, practice, rule, regulation or requirement, theretofore prescribed by the Corporation Commission, within the scope of its authority, and then in force, be questioned.
Section 25. The Commission shall make annual reports to the Governor of its proceedings, in which reports it shall recommend, from time to time, such new or additional legislation in reference to its powers or duties, or the creation, supervision, regulation or control of corporations, or to the subject of taxation, as it may deem wise or expedient, or as may be required by law.
Section 26. It shall be the duty of each and every railway company, subject to the provisions herein, to provide and maintain adequate, comfortable, and clean depots, and depot buildings, at its several stations, for the accommodation of passengers, and said depot buildings shall be kept well lighted and warmed for the comfort and accommodation of the traveling public; and all such roads shall keep and maintain adequate and suitable freight depots and buildings for the receiving, handling, storing, and delivering of all freight handled by such roads.
Section 27. In case any railroad company shall hereafter seek to cross at grade with its track or tracks, the track or tracks of another railroad, the railroad seeking to cross at grade, within a reasonable time, shall be compelled to interlock or protect such crossings by safety devices, to be designated by the Commission, and all costs of appliance, together with the expenses of putting them in, shall be borne equally by each company: Provided, That this act shall not apply to crossings of sidetracks.
Section 28. The commissioners, or either of them, or such persons as they may employ therefor, shall have the right, at such times as they may deem necessary, to inspect the books and papers of any railroad company or other public service corporation, and to examine, under oath, any officer, agent, or employee of such corporations in relation to the business and affairs of the same. If any railroad company or other public service corporation shall refuse to permit the commissioners, or either of them, or any person authorized thereto, to examine its books and papers, such railroad company or other public service corporation shall, until otherwise provided by law, for each offense, pay to the State of Oklahoma not less than one hundred and twenty-five dollars, nor more than five hundred dollars, for each day it shall so fail or refuse, and the officer or other person so refusing shall be punished as the law shall prescribe.
Section 29. The Commission shall ascertain, and enter of record, the same to be a public record, as early as practicable, the amount of money expended in construction and equipment per mile of every railroad and other public service corporation in Oklahoma, the amount of money expended to procure the right of way, and the amount of money it would require to reconstruct the roadbed, track, depots, and transportation facilities, and to replace all the physical properties belonging to the railroad or other public service corporation. It shall also ascertain the outstanding bonds, debentures, and indebtedness, and the amount, respectively, thereof, when issued, and rate of interest, when due, for what purposes issued, how used, to whom issued, to whom sold, and the price in cash, property, or labor, if any, received therefor, what became of the proceeds, by whom the indebtedness is held, the amount purporting to be due thereon, the floating indebtedness of the company, to whom due, and his address, the credits due on it, the property on hand belonging to the railroad company or other public service corporation, and the judicial or other sales of said road, its property or franchises, and the amounts purporting to have been paid, and in what manner paid therefor. The Commission shall also ascertain the amounts paid for salaries to the officers of the railroad, or other public service corporation, and the wages paid its employees. For the purpose in this section named, the Commission may employ experts to assist them when needed, and from time to time, as the information required by this section is obtained, it shall communicate the same to the Attorney General by report, and file a duplicate thereof with the State Examiner and inspector for public use, and said information shall be printed, from time to time, in the annual report of the Commission.
Section 30. No transportation or transmission company shall charge or receive any greater compensation, in the aggregate, for transporting the same class of passengers or property, or for transmitting the same class of messages, over a shorter than a longer distance, along the same line and in the same direction - the shorter being included in the longer distance; but this section shall not be construed as authorizing any such company to charge or receive as great compensation for a shorter as for a longer distance. The Commission may, from time to time, authorize any such company to disregard the foregoing provisions of this section, by charging such rates as the Commission may prescribe as just and equitable between such company and the public, to or from any junctional or competitive points or localities, or where the competition of points located without this State may make necessary the prescribing of special rates for the protection of the commerce of this State; but this section shall not apply to mileage tickets, or to any special excursion, or commutation rates, or to special rates for services rendered to this State, or to the United States, or in the interest of some public object, when such tickets or rates shall have been prescribed or authorized by the Commission.
Section 31. No railroad, oil pipe line, telephone, telegraph, express, or car corporation organized under the laws of any other state, or of the United States, and doing business or proposing to do business in the State of Oklahoma, shall be allowed to exercise the right of eminent domain, unless it shall become a body corporate pursuant to the laws of this state; or unless such corporation shall comply with such limitations and restrictions as may be prescribed by the Corporation Commission, and file with the commission its written acceptance of such requirements and procure from the commission a certificate entitling it to exercise such right.
Section 32. The said Commission shall have power, and it is hereby made its duty, to investigate all through freight or passenger rates on railroads in this State, and when the same are, in the opinion of the Commission, excessive or levied or laid in violation of the Interstate Commerce law, or the rules and regulations of the Interstate Commerce Commission, the proper officials of the railroads are to be notified of the facts and requested to reduce them or make the proper corrections, as the case may be. When the rates are not changed, or the proper corrections are not made according to the request of the Commission, it shall be the duty of the latter to notify the Interstate Commerce Commission and to make proper application to it for relief, and the Attorney General or such other persons as may be designated by law shall represent the Commission in all such matters.
Section 33. Any person, firm, or corporation owning or operating any coal, lead, iron, or zinc mine, or any saw mill, grain elevator, or other industry, whenever the Commission shall reasonably determine that the amount of business is sufficient to justify the same, near or within a reasonable distance of any track, may, at the expense of such person, firm, or corporation, build and keep in repair a switch leading from such railroad to such mine, saw mill, elevator or other industry; such railroad company shall be required to furnish the switch stand and frog and other necessary material for making connection, with such side track or spur under such reasonable terms, conditions and regulations as the said Commission may prescribe, and shall make connection therewith. The party owning such mine, saw mill, elevator or other industry shall pay the actual cost thereof. If any railroad company, after proper demand therefor is made, shall refuse to furnish said material for making said connection and put the same in place, or after the building of such switch, shall fail or refuse to operate the same, such railroad company failing and refusing for a reasonable time, shall forfeit and pay to the party or corporation aggrieved, the sum of five hundred dollars for each and every offense, to be recovered by civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction; and every day of such refusal on the part of the railroad company to operate such switch as aforesaid, after such demand is made, shall be deemed a separate offense.
Construction of Laws - Power of LegislatureEdit
Section 34. As used in this Article, the term "transportation company" shall include any company, corporation, trustee, receiver or any other person owning, leasing or operating for hire a railroad, street railway, canal, steamboat line, and also any freight car company, car corporation, or company, trustee or persons in any way engaged in such business as a common carrier over a route acquired in whole or in part under the right of eminent domain, or under any grant from the Government of the United States; the term "rate" shall be construed to mean rate of charge for any service rendered, or to be rendered; the terms "rate," "charge" and "regulation" shall include joint rates, joint charges and joint regulations, respectively; the term "transmission company" shall include any company, receiver or other person owning, leasing or operating for hire any telegraph or telephone line; the term "freight" shall be construed to mean any property transported or received for transportation by any transportation company. The term "public service corporation" shall include all transportation and transmission companies, all gas, electric, heat, light and power companies, and all persons, firms, corporations, receivers or trustees engaged in said businesses, and all persons, firms, corporations, receivers or trustees authorized to exercise the right of eminent domain or having a franchise to use or occupy any right of way, street, alley or public highway, whether along, over or under the same, in a manner not permitted to the general public, and all persons, firms, corporations, receivers and trustees engaged in any business which is a public utility or a public service corporation, at the present time or which may hereafter be declared to be a public utility or a public service corporation. The term "person" as used in this Article shall include individuals, partnerships, and corporations in the singular as well as plural number; the term "bond" shall mean all certificates or written evidence of indebtedness issued by any corporation and secured by mortgage or trust deed. The term "frank" shall mean any writing or token issued by or under authority of a transmission company, entitling the holder to any service from such company free of charge.
The provisions of this Article shall always be so restricted in their application as not to conflict with any of the provisions of the Constitution of the United States, and as if the necessary limitations upon their interpretation had been herein expressed in each case.
Section 35. After the second Monday in January, nineteen hundred and nine, the Legislature may, by law, from time to time, alter, amend, revise, or repeal sections from eighteen to thirty-four, inclusive, of this article, or any of them, or any amendments thereof: Provided, That no amendment made under authority of this section shall contravene the provisions of any part of this Constitution other than the said sections last above referred to or any such amendments thereof.
Section 36. The common law doctrine of the fellow-servant, so far as it affects the liability of the master for injuries to his servant, resulting from the acts or omissions of any other servant or servants of the common master, is abrogated as to every employee of every railroad company and every street railway company or inter-urban railway company, and of every person, firm, or corporation engaged in mining in this State; and every such employee shall have the same right to recover for every injury suffered by him for the acts or omissions of any other employee or employees of the common master that a servant would have if such acts or omissions were those of the master himself in the performance of a non-assignable duty; and when death, whether instantaneous or not, results to such employee from any injury for which he could have recovered under the above provisions, had not death occurred, then his legal or personal representative, surviving consort or relatives, or any trustee, curator, committee or guardian of such consort or relatives, shall have the same rights and remedies with respect thereto, as if death had been caused by the negligence of the master. And every railroad company and every street railway company or inter-urban railway company, and every person, firm, or corporation engaged in underground mining in this State shall be liable under this section, for the acts of his or its receivers.
Nothing contained in this section shall restrict the power of the Legislature to extend to the employees of any person, firm, or corporation, the rights and remedies herein provided for.
Section 37. REPEALED
Section 38. No private corporation shall be created nor foreign corporation licensed to conduct business in the State, except by general law.
Section 39. No corporation shall issue stock except for money, labor done, or property actually received, at a stated value thereof, and the Legislature shall prescribe the necessary regulations to prevent the issue of fictitious stock or indebtedness.
Section 40. No corporation organized or doing business in this State shall be permitted to influence elections or official duty by contributions of money or anything of value.
Section 41. No trust company, or bank or banking company shall own, hold, or control, in any manner whatever, the stock of any other trust company or bank or banking company, except such stock as may be pledged in good faith to secure bona fide indebtedness, acquired upon foreclosure, execution sale, or otherwise for the satisfaction of debt; and such stock shall be disposed of in the time and manner hereinbefore provided.
Section 42. Every license issued or charter granted to a mining or public service corporation, foreign or domestic, shall contain a stipulation that such corporation will submit any difference it may have with employees in reference to labor, to arbitration, as shall be provided by law.
Section 43. Every foreign corporation shall, before being licensed to do business in the State, designate an agent residing in the State; and service of summons or legal notice may be had on such designated agent and such other agents as now are or may hereafter be provided for by law. Suit may be maintained against a foreign corporation in the county where an agent of such corporation may be found, or in the county of the residence of plaintiff, or in the county where the cause of action may arise.
Section 44. No foreign corporation shall be authorized to carry on in this State any business which a domestic corporation is prohibited form doing, or be relieved from compliance with any of the requirements made of a similar domestic corporation by the Constitution or laws of the State. Nothing in this article, however, shall restrict or limit the power of the Legislature to impose conditions under which foreign corporations may be licensed to do business in this State.
Section 45. Until otherwise provided by law, no person, firm, association, or corporation engaged in the production, manufacture, distribution, or sale of any commodity of general use, shall, for the purpose of creating a monopoly or destroying competition in trade, discriminate between different persons, associations, or corporations, or different sections, communities or cities of the State, by selling such commodity at a lower rate in one section, community, or city than in another, after making due allowance for the difference, if any, in the grade, quantity, or quality, and in the actual cost of transportation from the point of production or manufacture.
Section 46. All existing charters or grants of special or exclusive privileges under which a bona fide organization shall not have taken place and business commenced in good faith at the time this Constitution becomes effective, shall thereafter have no validity.
Section 47. The Legislature shall have power to alter, amend, annul, revoke, or repeal any charter of incorporation or franchise now existing and subject to be altered, amended, annulled, revoked, or repealed at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, or any that may be hereafter created, whenever in its opinion it may be injurious to the citizens of this State, in such manner, however, that no injustice shall be done to the incorporators.
Section 48. The Legislature shall provide such penalties and regulations as may be necessary for the proper enforcement of the provisions of this article.
Article X - Revenue and TaxationEdit
Article XI - State and School LandsEdit
Article XII - Homestead and ExemptionsEdit
Article XIIA - Homestead Exemptions from TaxationEdit
Article XIII - EducationEdit
Article XIIIA - Oklahoma State System of High EducationEdit
Article XIIIB - Board of Regents of Oklahoma CollegesEdit
Article XIV - Banks and BankingEdit
SECTION XIV-1 Banking department. General laws shall be enacted by the legislature providing for the creation of a Banking Department, to be under the control of a Bank Commissioner, who shall be appointed by the Governor for a term of four years, by and with the consent of the Senate, with sufficient power and authority to regulate and control all State Banks, Loan, Trust and Guaranty Companies, under laws which shall provide for the protection of depositors and individual stockholders.
SECTION XIV-2 Classification of loans and lenders - Licenses - Maximum rates of interest. The Legislature shall have authority to classify loans and lenders, license and regulate lenders, define interest and fix maximum rates of interest; provided, however, in the absence of legislation fixing maximum rates of interest, all contracts for a greater rate of interest than ten percent(10%) per annum shall be deemed usurious; provided, further, that in contracts where no rate of interest is agreed upon, the rate shall not exceed six percent (6%) per annum. Amended by State Question No. 454, Legislative Referendum No. 167, adopted at election held Sept. 17, 1968.
SECTION XIV-3 Excessive rate - Forfeiture of interest - Recovery of double interest. The taking, receiving, reserving, or charging a rate of interest greater than is allowed by the preceding section, when knowingly done, shall be deemed a forfeiture of the entire interest which the note, bill, or other evidence of debt carries with it, or which has been agreed to be paid thereon. In case a greater rate of interest has been paid, the person by whom it has been paid, or his legal representatives, may recover from the person, firm, or corporation taking or receiving the same, in an action in the nature of an action of debt, twice the amount of the interest so paid: Provided, such action shall be brought within two years after the maturity of such usurious contract: Provided, However, That this section may be subject to such changes as the Legislature may prescribe.
Article XV - Oath of OfficeEdit
Article XVI - Public RoadsEdit
Article XVII - CountiesEdit
Article XVIII - Municipal CorporationsEdit
Article XIX - InsuranceEdit
Article XX - Manufacture and CommerceEdit
Article XXI - Public InstitutionsEdit
Article XXII - Alien and Corporate Ownership of LandEdit
Article XXIII - MiscellaneousEdit
Article XXIV - Constitutional AmendmentsEdit
Any amendment or amendments to this Constitution may be proposed in either branch of the Legislature, and if the same shall be agreed to by a majority of all the members elected to each of the two (2) houses, such proposed amendment or amendments shall, with the yeas and nays thereon, be entered in their journals and referred by the Secretary of State to the people for their approval or rejection, at the next regular general election, except when the Legislature, by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of each house, shall order a special election for that purpose. If a majority of all the electors voting on any proposed amendment at such election shall vote in favor thereof, it shall thereby become a part of this Constitution. No proposal for the amendment or alteration of this Constitution which is submitted to the voters shall embrace more than one general subject and the voters shall vote separately for or against each proposal submitted; provided, however, that in the submission of proposals for the amendment of this Constitution by articles, which embrace one general subject, each proposed article shall be deemed a single proposal or proposition.
Article XXV - Social SecurityEdit
Article XXVI - Department of Wildlife ConservationEdit
Article XXVII - Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control BoardEdit
Sections 1 - 11 repealed by State Question No. 563 at election held September 18, 1984.