United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma is a United States district court.
Vacancy warning level
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma's vacancy warning level is currently set at green. The court currently has all of the posts filled.
The Eastern District of Oklahoma has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.
|Federal Court Case Load Statistics*|
|Year||Starting case load:||Cases filed:||Total cases:||Cases terminated:||Remaining cases:||Median time(Criminal)**:||Median time(Civil)**:||3 Year Civil cases#:||Vacant posts:##||Trials/Post|
|*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September. **Time in months from filing to completion.|
#This statistic includes cases which have been appealed in higher courts. ##This is the total number of months that any judicial posts had spent vacant that year.
The Eastern District of Oklahoma has only one courthouse. Bruce Guthrie is the official clerk of court. Clerks' offices are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays. The contact information for the court is below:
Bruce Guthrie, Court Clerk
101 N. Fifth Street Room 208
Muskogee, Oklahoma 74401
918-684-7920 Main Clerk's Number
Federal courts in Oklahoma were established by Congress on June 16, 1906, with one post each for the Western and the Eastern districts. Over time, one additional judicial post was added for a total of two current posts.
The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the Eastern District of Oklahoma:
|June 16, 1906||34 Stat. 267, 275||1|
|September 14, 1922||42 Stat. 837||2(1 Temporary)|
|February 16, 1925||43 Stat. 945||1 (Temporary reassigned)|
|February 16, 1925||43 Stat. 945||1 (Temporary reassigned)|
|June 22, 1936||49 Stat. 1804||2(1 Shared for 3 Districts)|
|May 19, 1961||75 Stat. 80||3(2 Shared for 3 Districts)|
|December 1, 1990||104 Stat. 5089||2(1 Shared for 3 Districts, 1 Reassigned)|
For a searchable list of opinions, please see Opinions for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.
| • Suit against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (2011)|
*Oklahoma v. Sebelius
|On January 7, 2011, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced that the state of Oklahoma would file its own lawsuit against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the Eastern District of Oklahoma. This was independent of the Virginia suit and the multi-state suit filed in Florida because the State of Oklahoma had amended its Constitution to prevent citizens from being forced to obtain health insurance. In a press release stating his intention to sue, Pruitt commented on his decision to file within the state saying, "The most logical way to defend our state Constitution is in an Oklahoma federal court not in another state." The case was then filed as Oklahoma v. Sebelius on January 21, 2011.
The complaint filed in federal court resembled the Virginia filing closely in its chief arguments. Namely, it took issue with the individual mandate and asserted that Congress overstepped its authority as granted by the Commerce Clause of Article I. Like the Virginia complaint, the Oklahoma filing also stated that the entire act should be voided because the mandate is an "essential, non-severable provision." The state also requested that a permanent injunction be made forbidding the government from enforcing the mandate in particular, and the act as a whole.
Below is the complaint filed by the state of Oklahoma.
OutcomeOn June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as "Obamacare." To learn more about the law's path through the federal court system, see: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in the courts.
For new stories and other related material see Oklahoma judicial news.
- Eastern District of Oklahoma US District Court
- Judges of the Eastern District of Oklahoma
- Opinions of the Eastern District of Oklahoma
- Offices of the United States Attorneys, Official list
- Eastern District of Oklahoma, "Contact information," January 28, 2014
- History of the Districts of Oklahoma on the Federal Judicial Center website
- Oklahoma Attorney General, "Press Release: Oklahoma Attorney General-elect Will File Lawsuit Against Federal Health Care Reform Bill," January 7, 2011
- Oklahoma Attorney General, "Complaint: Oklahoma v. Sebelius," accessed January 28, 2014
|2.1 Active Judges|
|2.1.1 Article III judges|
|2.1.2 Pending appointments|
|2.1.3 Senior judges|
|2.2 Past judges|
|2.2.1 Former Chief judges|
|2.2.2 Former judges|
Article III judgesThe United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma has 2 posts. This is a list of the current judges on the court:
|Judge James Payne||1941||Lubbock, TX||W. Bush||10/24/2001 - Present||2002 - Present (EOK)||Billy Burrage||U. of Oklahoma, B.S., 1963||U. of Oklahoma Law, J.D., 1966|
|Judge Ronald White||1961||Sapulpa, OK||W. Bush||10/2/2003 - Present||Frank Seay||U. of Oklahoma, B.A., 1983||U. of Oklahoma Law, J.D., 1986|
There are no current pending appointments for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.
Senior judgesSee: Federal judges on senior status
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma has 1 judge on senior status currently. This is a list of the current senior judges on the court:
|Senior Judge Frank Seay||Carter||11/2/1979 - 9/25/2003||1980 - 1996||9/25/2003 - Present||U. of Oklahoma, B.A., 1961||U. of Oklahoma Law, J.D., 1966|
|Magistrate Judge Steven Shreder|
|Magistrate Judge Kimberly West|
Former Chief judges
|Orville Langley||1965 - 1973|
|Billy Burrage||1996 - 2001|
|Eugene Rice||1949 - 1963|
|Frank Seay||1980 - 1996|
In order to qualify for the office of Chief Judge in one of the federal courts, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as Chief Judge. A vacancy in the office of Chief Judge is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The Chief Judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a Chief Judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion. See 28 U.S.C. § 45.
These rules for Chief Judges in the federal judiciary have been in effect since October 1, 1982. The office of Chief Judge was created in 1948. Until August 6, 1959, the position was filled in each federal court by the longest-serving judge who had not elected to retire on what has since 1958 been known as senior status or declined to serve as Chief Judge. From then until 1982 it was filled by the senior such judge who had not turned 70.
|Magistrate judges||Steven Shreder • Kimberly West •|
|Former Article III judges||
David Russell • Ralph Campbell • Robert Williams • Joseph Morris • Franklin Elmore Kennamer • Alfred Murrah • Eugene Rice • Bower Broaddus • Luther Bohanon • William Wallace • Billy Burrage • Harold Cook • Frederick Daugherty • Orville Langley •
|Former Chief judges|