Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: January 3, 2011
Sen. Jonathan Nichols
Nichols Tapped for Leadership Role in Judicial Reapportionment
Sen. Jonathan Nichols will play an important role in determining
whether the Legislature will redraw Oklahoma’s judicial districts
based on 2010 Census data. Senate President Pro Tempore Designate
Brian Bingman recently announced that the Norman Republican will
serve as Judicial Vice Chairman on the Senate Redistricting Committee.
The Committee will soon consider adjusting district boundaries
to accommodate reapportionment and population changes throughout
the state. Oklahoma’s Supreme Court district boundaries have
remained constant since 1968, while Congressional and legislative
boundaries have been adjusted to account for population changes
every ten years.
“I’m honored to have been chosen for this position
and I look forward to working with committee members throughout
the redistricting process,” said Nichols, R-Norman. “Oklahoma’s
Constitution clearly vests the legislature with the responsibility
to make any needed changes in judicial boundaries. The Constitution
further grants the legislature authority to review and amend the
size of the Court to ensure efficiency and proper apportionment.”
The Oklahoma Constitution sets the number of Supreme Court Justices
at nine but then further provides, “until the number shall
be changed by statute, and each Justice shall be from a separate
district of the state”.
Bingman said Nichols will help serve as a point person in the
Senate on activity and issues related to judicial reapportionment.
“We have a responsibility to preserve fairness in the electoral
process, and redistricting is a very important part of that effort,”
Nichols’ responsibilities will also include reviewing the
structure and performance of the Courts of Criminal and Civil Appeals
in light of new census data.
The Court of Criminal Appeals is Oklahoma’s highest court
for criminal matters. The Court of Civil Appeals is an intermediate
appellate court in the State of Oklahoma. Its cases are assigned
to it by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the State’s highest court
for civil matters.
“The Civil Appeals Court was created by the legislature pursuant
to statutory authority,” said Nichols. “It’s important
that we review the Courts’ structure and functions in light
of the new census information to ensure that they are performing
efficiently and effectively.”
In addition to serving as Judicial Vice Chairman of Redistricting,
Nichols has also been named Chairman of the Senate Appropriations
Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary, and Vice Chairman of
the Senate Rules Committee.
For more information contact:
Sen. Nichols: (405) 521-5535