Justice Hardy Summers to retire from Oklahoma Supreme Court

Wednesday, July 2nd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Hardy Summers said Tuesday he will retire effective January 1st.

Summers, who will turn 70 on July 15, notified Gov. Brad Henry of his plan to step down. Summers has been a justice on Oklahoma's highest court since Feb. 1, 1985.

Summers' retirement means Henry will appoint a member of the nine-member court for the first time since taking office in January. Henry's appointment will be the first to the court since Justice James Winchester was named by former Gov. Frank Keating in January 2000.

Summers was appointed by former Gov. George Nigh and served as chief justice in 1999 and 2000, when he was named ``Distinguished Alumnus'' by the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Prior to his Supreme Court service, Summers served eight years as a district judge in Muskogee County. In 1984, Summers was elected president of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference.

Summers practiced general law from 1962 until 1976 in Muskogee after serving as assistant county attorney for two years. He received his law degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1957 and served three years in the Judge Advocate division of the U.S. Air Force.

Summers said he plans to read, write and travel while spending more time with his wife, Marilyn, and their children and grandsons.