Oklahoma Supreme Court judge takes issue with critics of his lawsuit

Monday, January 24th 2005, 11:36 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Oklahoma Supreme Court Justice Marian Opala is taking issue with legal scholars who have criticized him for a lawsuit accusing his fellow justices of age discrimination.

83-year-old Opala has filed a federal lawsuit saying he was discriminated against when his fellow justices gave Joseph M-Watt a second consecutive two-year term as chief justice.

Opala would have received the position if the typical rotation had been followed.

In published reports, one law professor called Opala's discrimination claim weak, while another suggested that the lawsuit reflects poorly on Opala's judgment and temperament.

Opala says his lawsuit is still being formulated and its too early for scholars to pass judgment.

He says the lawsuit has not adversely affected his dealings with the other justices as they deliberate over the cases that come before them.

Opala says the judges have been civilized and professional.