The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK


June 9, 2013

Two new state laws said to violate one-subject provision in Oklahoma’s constitution

ENID, Okla. — Two much-ballyhooed state laws are under fire in the courts.

One actually has been declared unconstitutional by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, and another is the subject of a new lawsuit.

In both instances, the single-subject provision in the Oklahoma Constitution is being touted as the issue. Both pieces of legislation are said to violate the rule, which states: “Every act of the Legislature shall embrace but one subject, which shall be clearly expressed in its title.”

The law struck down by the state Supreme Court early last week was the 2009 tort reform law that, among other things, set limits on lawsuits and made it easier to dismiss frivolous suits.

Justices, in a 7-2 ruling, said the legislation amounted to logrolling, the practice of passing legislation that contain more than one subject. The court’s decision said the bill contained 90 sections that encompassed a variety of subjects that do not reflect a common, closely akin theme or purpose.

Then, on Thursday, an Oklahoma City attorney with a history of successfully challenging legislative actions filed a lawsuit against a bill approved in the just-completed legislative session that would cut the state income tax and provide funds to repair the crumbling state Capitol.

Jerry Fent says in his lawsuit the legislation violates the single-subject provision in the constitution.

What happens in this case remains to be seen. We won’t know until the courts rule.

In the case of tort reform, lawmakers already are talking about what they can do in the 2014 legislative session to get the rules passed again.

One thing they could do is break the sections out and pass them as separate bills. The Supreme Court didn’t rule the changes were unconstitutional, just that they shouldn’t have been included in one bill.

The court actions are a reminder to lawmakers to be mindful of the constitution. Now, we see legislation that enjoyed strong support in jeopardy because lawmakers didn’t do that.

Text Only
  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg David, Goliath at it again in Gaza Strip

    Israel has long seen itself as David, standing firm against a hostile neighborhood full of Goliaths.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • DHS must come up with future plans for NORCE, SORC facilities after they are closed

    NORCE is scheduled to close in August 2015. Currently, 15 residents remain at the facility, awaiting transfer to a private setting, and there also are 60 state employees on the NORCE payroll.

    July 24, 2014

  • Never leave a child or a pet alone in a car

    With temperatures soaring to near or above 100, parents need to know they can’t leave their children alone in a locked vehicle. In 10 minutes, a vehicle’s temperature can climb 19 degrees. A child’s body heats up three to five times faster than an adult’s, and it only takes a few minutes before a child can become dangerously overheated, according to Safe Kids USA.

    July 23, 2014

  • Will Rogers web.jpg Will Rogers Daily Telegrams 7-24-2014

    I am beginning to believe that Mellon is the poorest Treasurer we ever had. I would like to be Treasurer. Here would be my policy, and you see if it wouldn’t be the best thing for America:
    Save nothing, have nothing in there. Then Congress and the entire nation could have nothing in view only what they made themselves.
    A Candidate.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg State of the state: Things are not as good as they could be

    Draper wants to split Cali up into six separate states — Silicon Valley, around the San Francisco Bay Area; Central California, including cities like Bakersfield; West California, including Los Angeles and its suburbs; South California, including San Diego; North California, centered on Sacramento and Jefferson, in the far northern part of the state.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Voters have decisions to make in August races

    Democrats will have two runoffs to decide. One will be choosing their party’s nominee for state superintendent. Freda Deskin will face John Cox. The winner will face Republican nominee Joy Hofmeister in the November general election.
    The other race is for the party nominee to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn. Jim Rogers will face Connie Johnson. The winner will face Republican nominee U.S. Rep. James Lankford in November.

    July 22, 2014

  • Going postal

    Waukomis residents have the opportunity to have their voices heard in regard to the future of their post office.

    July 22, 2014 1 Story

  • New dorm

    Breaking ground on a new dormitory at Northern Oklahoma College Enid is another step in the evolution of the campus.

    July 20, 2014 1 Story

  • Jeff Mullin mug 2012.jpg Stars in our eyes

    We caught the vision when, in May of 1961, John F. Kennedy told Congress, and the world, that the space race was no longer to be so one-sided.
    “First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” he said.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • thumbs up logo.jpg Thumbs up for northwest Okla. communities, where net taxable sales figures are up

    Net taxable sales were up $1,917,774 in Enid, when compared to sales reported in July 2013. The increase amounted to a 2.6 percent increase in sales tax revenue for the city.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads