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Lawsuits Over State Questions Could Cost Taxpayers

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Jon Jordan, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY – Since the midterm elections, three of the nine state questions that passed are headed for court and based on the judges' rulings, the cases could cost taxpayers money.

From ballot measure 755 banning Sharia Law from Oklahoma courts to SQ 746 requiring voters bring a photo I.D. to the polls and SQ 751 establishing English as the state's official language, each measure is being brought to court.

"The Republican party's strategy was to put a lot of the measures on the ballot in order to drive people to come to the polls," said Mohamed Daadaoui, OCU political science professor.

But Daadaoui said it doesn't make the measures constitutional, and what's more concerning is the time and money it could cost the state to defend the cases in court.

"We are talking about a party that is running on this mandate to cut spending and bring more fiscal responsibility, but again we are wasting our state resources that we direly needed and need at this point on these frivolous types of measures," said the political science professor.

"There is no additional costs associated with it. It's a straw man's argument," said Representative Rex Duncan, who authored state question 755. "It will be defended by the A.G.'s office, these are people that are already employed by the state."

Rep. Duncan said the lawsuit against SQ 755 is "pitiful and it's predictable and it's ultimately going to be unsuccessful."

News 9's legal analyst Irven Box said because the state will be defending the measures in each case, the state shouldn't incur costs. However, Box said if the judge rules against the state, taxpayers could very likely end up footing the bill.

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