Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt on Friday filed a response with the Oklahoma Supreme Court in a ballot title challenge involving storm shelters in Oklahoma public schools.
Oklahoma law requires the Attorney General's Office to review all proposed ballot titles to ensure they comply with the law before state questions are put before Oklahoma voters. Take Shelter Oklahoma is challenging the AG’s changes to the ballot title language and has asked that the AG be removed from the case.
“As a parent, I commend those trying to find a way to protect Oklahoma students from severe and dangerous weather, and changes to this proposal should not be considered an opinion for or against their efforts. I, along with our senior attorneys, reviewed the proposed language as we do with every ballot title. We found it did not comply with the law, and then, as required, submitted a revised ballot title to the Secretary of State,” Attorney General Pruitt said.
Friday’s response brief detailed specific provisions the AG’s Office determined to be insufficient with the proposed ballot title, and explains the review process required for a ballot title that seeks a financial transaction.
“One of the most thankless duties the Attorney General must perform is the drafting of a Ballot Title within the confines of no more than 200 words. The ballot title must adequately inform the voters of the effect of the proposed measure in no more than 200 words, no matter how detailed and complex the measure may be. Subjective judgments are necessarily involved because not everything can be included in the ballot title, and the Proponents of measures often want the ballot title to function as their measure’s campaign brochure.”
In a separate filing, the Attorney General responded to the group’s public statements on the case and challenged their request for the Supreme Court to “recuse” him.
“The claim for recusal of the Attorney General asserted by Petitioners in their Supplemental Brief is unsupported by the law and is without factual support. It is legally frivolous and should be disregarded by this Court.”
A hearing in the case is set for Dec. 18.