Tulsa professor receives Opala award

Saturday, November 13th 2004, 10:51 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Gary Allison, an assistant professor of law at the University of Tulsa, was named Friday as winner of the Marian Opala First Amendment Award presented by FOI Oklahoma Inc.

Allison received the award because of his promotion of the First Amendment and his work to educate the public about it.

He teaches First Amendment law at the university and has written extensively about the topic for many years.

Allison holds degrees from TU and from Columbia University in New York.

He has been lead counsel on five state Supreme Court challenges to initiative petitions concerning state government reorganization, abortion rights, education reform and congressional term limits.

The award, presented by Opala, recognizes an Oklahoman who has worked to promote education about and preservation of First Amendment rights.

Opala, an Oklahoma Supreme Court justice, was born in 1921 in Poland and became a U.S. citizen in 1953. He is an adjunct professor for Oklahoma's three law schools and has served on the state Supreme Court for 14 years.

Opala was the first winner of the award. Other winners were Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson and Ben Blackstock, former executive director of the Oklahoma Press Association.

FOI Oklahoma is a statewide organization that advocates education about the First Amendment. It holds workshops for educators, students, government officials, attorneys and the general public on First Amendment and open meetings and open records issues.