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Appellate court judges win retention

Updated:

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahomans stayed true to their past on Tuesday in retaining all 10 Oklahoma appellate court judges seeking to keep their jobs on the state's top courts.

No judge from the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the state Court of Civil Appeals or the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has ever been voted out of office.

Winning retention from the Oklahoma Supreme Court were Chief Justice Yvonne Kauger and justices Marian P. Opala, Hardy Summers and Daniel J. Boudreau.

Kenneth L. Buettner, James P. Garrett, Carl B. Jones and Carol Hansen were kept on the state Court of Civil Appeals.

Reta M. Strubhar and Stephen Lile were retained on the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

Should a majority of voters decide that a judge should not continue to serve, Gov. Frank Keating would have been allowed to appoint a new judge to the court from a list of nominees submitted by the Judicial Nominating Commission.

But all judges were easily retained.

Kauger is a fourth-generation Oklahoman who became the second woman on the state Supreme Court in 1984.

Opala first served on the court as a referee from 1960 to 1965 and was appointed as a justice in 1978 by then-Gov. David Boren.

Summers has been a Supreme Court justice since 1985 when he was appointed by then-Gov. George Nigh.

Boudreau was appointed last year by Gov. Frank Keating to replace retiring Justice Robert Simms on the state Supreme Court. Boudreau served as a special judge and a district court judge in Tulsa County from 1980 to 1992.

Strubhar became the first woman appointed to the Court of Criminal Appeals after serving as associate district judge in Canadian County from 1984 to 1993.

Lile was a district judge in several Oklahoma counties before his appointment to the Court of Criminal Appeals in 1999.

Buettner served four years in the Judge Advocate General corps of the U.S. Air Force and is an adjunct law professor at the Oklahoma City University School of Law.

Jones has been on the Court of Civil Appeals since 1991. Garrett has been on the Court of Civil Appeals since 1987, and Hansen was a former municipal judge in Stillwater who was appointed to the Court of Civil Appeals in 1985.
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