Oklahoma Bar Journal

‘Of Public Right’: A Modern Look at the Age-Old Doctrine of Publici Juris and Its Discretionary Application in Appeals and Original Actions Involving the Public Interest 

By Melanie Wilson Rughani

Photo by Lauren Rimmer

              We all know the answer to the old riddle, “Where does an 800-pound gorilla sit?” Unintended comparisons aside, much the same can be said for the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Under a well-established jurisprudential doctrine, the court can, and does, intervene in disputes effectively “anywhere it wants” – at least when the question presented is of sufficient public import.

               Article III, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution vests federal courts with the authority to resolve only certain “cases” and “controversies” ­– a clause that places important limitations on the jurisdiction of federal courts. Under Article III’s “case or controversy” requirement, federal courts are barred from issuing purely advisory opinions, and they generally may resolve disputes only where the parties asserting claims have standing to do so and an active controversy is presented.

               While federal courts are thus considered courts of limited jurisdiction, state courts generally are not. The Oklahoma Constitution contains no “case or controversy” requirement. Rather, Article 7, Section 4 of the Oklahoma Constitution vests the Oklahoma Supreme Court with appellate jurisdiction that extends “to all cases at law and in equity,” as well as a broad “original jurisdiction” that includes “a general superintending control over all inferior courts and all Agencies, Commissions and Boards created by law,” various “remedial writs” and “such other and further jurisdiction as may be conferred by statute.” In Oklahoma courts, therefore, prohibitions on advisory opinions, standing requirements, ripeness and mootness doctrines, and various other justiciability doctrines are primarily prudential, and the Supreme Court has enormous discretion regarding the exercise of its original jurisdiction.

               Although the various justiciability doctrines may not be jurisdictional in Oklahoma courts, they are still established requirements that serve important purposes. As Justice Opala once put it, “Courts are not roving commissions assigned to pass judgment on the validity of the State's laws.”[1] Doctrines such as standing, ripeness and mootness help ensure the court issues opinions only in cases where the facts are sufficiently developed and the parties are truly adverse, with an incentive to fully litigate the issues. Prohibitions on advisory opinions and adherence to the usual appellate procedures, moreover, help ensure the dockets are not overwhelmed, issues are fully considered, and the courts are not prematurely drawn into political disputes that risk upsetting the separation of powers.[2]

               Sometimes, however, strict adherence to prudential requirements can do more harm than good. Where the issue is an important one that affects the public at large, or “publici juris,” the Oklahoma Supreme Court has time and time again agreed to dispense with the usual procedural niceties and exercise its original jurisdiction. This article analyzes the development and application of the publici juris doctrine in the modern Oklahoma Supreme Court.



               Publici juris” in Latin literally means “of public right.” The Oklahoma Supreme Court has said, for purposes of its publici juris doctrine, the word “public” means “pertaining to the people, or affecting the community at large,” and the word “right” means “a well-founded claim; an interest; concern; advantage; benefit.”[3] The term “publici juris” requires “more than a mere curiosity” of the public; rather, it is “something in which the public has some pecuniary interest, or some interest by which their legal rights or liabilities are affected.”[4] When a matter is truly publici juris, however, the court is far more likely to exercise its original jurisdiction and quickly resolve the dispute.

               Although a publici juris matter is difficult to define, the court clearly “know[s] it when [it] see[s] it.”[5] In the last few decades, the court has found matters as wide-ranging as public health measures,[6] the powers of the grand jury,[7] “[t]he funding of state programs,”[8] the validity of Ethics Commission rules,[9] the viability of public pension funds,[10] the collection and use of court fees,[11] the application of a credit to Oklahomans’ public utility bills,[12] the validity of the Judicial Nominating Commission,[13] the eligibility of individuals for state office,[14] the validity of appropriation bills[15] and the propriety of the Oklahoma City MAPS ordinance[16] to be publici juris and to warrant the exercise of its original jurisdiction.

               The involvement of public rights in a dispute is neither necessary[17] nor alone sufficient to warrant the exercise of original jurisdiction. The court recognizes that, presumably, “all litigants would like to step into this Court of last resort” in the first instance, “thereby avoiding the expense and delay incident to appeal.” But the court has made clear it will assume original jurisdiction under the publici juris doctrine only if the case is “affected with the public interest” and there is “some urgency or pressing need for an early determination of the matter.”[18] The court’s original jurisdiction “is intended primarily as a ‘stand by’ service,” not a first resort, and it will be exercised “only when, from the exigencies of the case, great injury will be done by [a] refusal so to do.”[19] Even where the matter at hand is unquestionably important to the public, then, without a showing of “urgency or immediacy,” the court will not intervene.[20]

               The Supreme Court has also made clear that while it has the authority to assume original jurisdiction to address issues that are publici juris, it will elect to do so only “sparingly.”[21] Indeed, in her 1996 dissent in Keating, Justice Kauger noted, “In the last 50 years[,] we have assumed original jurisdiction on the basis of publici juris only 44 times – less than once a year.”[22] That rate has remained about the same since. In the 26 years between 1996 (when Keating was decided) and 2022 (when this article was published), the court has assumed original jurisdiction on the basis of publici juris only 20 times – again averaging less than once a year.[23]


               Although many states have vested their highest courts with discretionary jurisdiction, Oklahoma is one of only a handful with a well-developed, modern “publici juris” doctrine. But Oklahoma did not invent the concept. Our publici juris doctrine was initially borrowed from early publici juris doctrines in Colorado, South Dakota and a few other states. These states’ constitutions, however, differed from ours in one important respect: In addition to original jurisdiction provisions much like Oklahoma’s Article 7, Section 4, they also contained express “advisory opinion” provisions, whereby the Supreme Court was expressly empowered to offer opinions “upon important questions of law” on “solemn occasions” – with or without a traditional case and controversy.[24] [25]

               The courts in those states were thus rightly concerned about an explosion of requests for advisory opinions, which could congest the docket and produce ill-considered decisions based on insufficiently developed facts or law.[26] Accordingly, they developed a robust publici juris doctrine, whereby the Supreme Court would agree to exercise its express advisory authority only in matters of “exceptional public importance.”[27] In those states, the doctrine was (and continues to be) used almost exclusively as a tool for strictly limiting the court’s exercise of its advisory jurisdiction.

               Unlike Colorado and South Dakota, Oklahoma does not have an express advisory opinion procedure. Because Oklahoma’s Article 7, Section 4 is quite similar to the independent original jurisdiction provisions in the Colorado and South Dakota constitutions, however, in early cases interpreting its scope, the Oklahoma Supreme Court naturally looked to the opinions of the courts in these other states – and imported some of their concerns about advisory opinions in the process.[28]

               The Oklahoma Supreme Court first adopted the publici juris doctrine in 1909 in Homesteaders v. McCombs, 1909 OK 202. There, an insurance company filed an application for original jurisdiction, asking the court to direct the insurance commissioner to allow the company to do business in Oklahoma. Although such a case would ordinarily be brought in the district court, the company urged the Supreme Court to exercise its concurrent jurisdiction under Article 7, Section 4 to save time and expense. After surveying the decisions of Colorado and other courts, the court concluded it should exercise its original jurisdiction only when 1) the exigencies of the circumstances mean ordinary district court remedies would be inadequate or 2) the case involves urgent “questions publici juris” – questions where “the interest of the state at large is directly involved, where its sovereignty is violated, or the liberty of its citizens menaced, where the usurpation or the illegal use of its prerogatives or franchises is the principal, and not a collateral, question.”[29] And it found that assumption of original jurisdiction was inappropriate in that case, noting:

              [I]t is important that the dockets of this court, if it is reasonably practicable, be not congested, in order that litigants appealing their cases here may have expeditious hearings and determinations. This is not reasonably possible if this tribunal is to be transformed into a trial court. … In the case at bar the petitioning party is a foreign insurance corporation, seeking to do business in this state. Its object is of a private nature, to engage in business for gain and profit, and has none of the elements or features of publici juris. There is no good and sufficient reason shown why said action was not instituted in the proper district court of this state having jurisdiction thereof.[30]

              For several decades following Homesteaders, the Oklahoma Supreme Court, like the courts in other states, continued to treat the publici juris doctrine as a doctrine of strict limitation.[31] Only in very rare circumstances did the court assume original jurisdiction on publici juris grounds.[32]


Photo by Lauren Rimmer

              In more recent decades, however, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has shifted somewhat in its application of the publici juris doctrine. While it was originally used primarily as a mechanism for the court to cabin its jurisdiction and limit the issuance of advisory opinions, the modern court has viewed publici juris as not just a doctrine of limitation but also as one of expansion in certain circumstances. And in doing so, the court has shown that sometimes its early judicial intervention in a dispute – even if theoretically only an “advisory opinion” – can be beneficial to the public and the rule of law.

              First, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has used the publici juris doctrine as a basis to exercise its original jurisdiction in a wider variety of cases over the years. The court has intervened in cases involving issues as mundane as the enforceability of a lease when the result could have serious public implications, like requiring the “relocation of the health department.”[33] It has ruled on purely legal issues facing public entities, even without a strong showing of emergency, but where timely resolution would allow state actors and the public to rely on the ruling and further the public good.[34] It has addressed the constitutionality of an act, even where multiple similar challenges were then pending in district court, when a single, timely resolution of the issue would promote judicial efficiency.[35] It has resolved challenges to the eligibility of public office holders, even where a district court could presumably have done the same thing, where a quick decision by the high court could further the public interest.[36] In short, the court appears to have broadened its view of “publici juris” in recent decades, intervening in cases when a quick resolution by the court (and not a single elected district judge) would promote the public good.

              Further, the court has not only used the publici juris doctrine to determine when it should exercise its original jurisdiction, it has also used the doctrine to loosen the strictures on how it does so. Accordingly, while the court has traditionally limited its exercise of original jurisdiction to cases where the specific elements of a writ of mandamus, prohibition or other established remedial writ are present, in recent years, the court has assumed original jurisdiction in cases where those elements are not present – solely to grant declaratory relief.[37]

              The court has also used the publici juris doctrine to relax traditional standing requirements, noting that it may “elect to confer standing” on private parties in order “to vindicate the public interest in cases presenting issues of great public importance.”[38] For example, the court allowed individual legislators to seek to compel the Corporation Commission to enforce a statute requiring public utilities to apply a credit to customers’ bills even though the legislators had alleged no injury or particularized interest in the matter.[39] And the court allowed various attorneys, on behalf of potential future clients, to challenge the constitutionality of the Impaired Driving Elimination Act because the statute would have burdened a large number of indeterminate individuals throughout the state and, “The adjective-law component to standing in an Oklahoma state court, while creating a barrier in a private-law original jurisdiction action, does not hinder this Court from giving adequate relief in a publici juris original jurisdiction proceeding.”[40] [41]

              Similarly, the court has eschewed the justiciability doctrines of mootness and ripeness when the matter at issue was publici juris. In Oliver v. Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Bd.,[42] the court assumed original jurisdiction and prohibited the board from enforcing an order fixing a minimum markup of retailer's prices on alcoholic beverages, even though the order at issue had since expired. And in In re Initiative Petition No. 347, State Question No. 639,[43] the court noted it had often departed from basic ripeness requirements to consider the constitutionality of measures proposed by initiative petitions before they became law, where doing so could prevent an unnecessary costly election.

              Finally, the court has even effectively used its original jurisdiction in the course of exercising its separate appellate jurisdiction, dispensing with basic rules of appellate procedure where the question presented is publici juris. For example, although the court does not ordinarily address issues “left unadjudicated” by the district court, it has noted that if the claim “presents a publici juris issue and no additional facts are necessary for its adjudication, the Court possesses the judicial discretion to determine” the issue on appeal.[44] And the publici juris doctrine is a well-settled exception to the general rule that appellate courts will address only those issues adequately preserved below: It has long been established that, in a public-law controversy, the court is free to grant corrective relief on any applicable legal theory, even ones raised by the court sua sponte.[45]


              The publici juris doctrine is an important tool to help the court determine when and how to exercise its discretionary authority. Often, it is used to limit the exercise of original jurisdiction and ensure the Supreme Court does not become a court of first resort. As shown above, however, the doctrine has also been used in recent years to expand the circumstances in which the court will exercise its jurisdiction when early intervention will do substantial public good.

              This is entirely proper. Unlike federal courts, which are bound by Article III, Oklahoma state courts are not courts of limited jurisdiction. While the strictures of the “case or controversy” requirement are generally useful in ensuring an adversary process and preserving the separation of powers, sometimes early judicial intervention in a dispute – even if only as an “advisory opinion” – can be beneficial to the public and the rule of law. The publici juris doctrine, when properly applied, aids the court in determining when it is most appropriate to use its broad original jurisdiction to ensure questions of public right are quickly and properly resolved.


Melanie Wilson Rughani is a shareholder and director at Crowe & Dunlevy PC, where she serves as co-chair of the Appellate and Initiative Petitions practice groups. She regularly handles appeals and original actions in the Oklahoma Supreme Court, including many involving matters found to be publici juris.





[1] Keating v. Johnson, 1996 OK 61, 918 P.2d 51, 59–61 (Opala, J. concurring).

[2] See id.

[3] State v. Lyon, 1917 OK 229, 63 Okla. 285, 165 P. 419, 420.

[4] Id.

[5] Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964) (Stewart, J. concurring) (attempting to “define what may be indefinable,” obscenity, by saying simply, “I know it when I see it.”).

[6] Ritter v. State, 2022 OK 73, __ P.3d __.

[7] Russell v. Henderson, 1979 OK 164, 603 P.2d 1132, 1134.

[8] Fent v. Contingency Rev. Bd., 2007 OK 27, ¶11, 163 P.3d 512, 521.

[9] Ethics Comm'n v. Keating, 1998 OK 36, ¶¶3-9, 958 P.2d 1250, 1252–54.

[10] State ex rel. York v. Turpen, 1984 OK 26, 681 P.2d 763, 764–65.

[11] Fent v. State ex rel. Dep't of Hum. Servs., 2010 OK 2, n.2, 236 P.3d 61, 63; Naylor v. Petuskey, 1992 OK 88, 834 P.2d 439, 440.

[12] State ex rel. Howard v. Okla. Corp. Comm'n, 1980 OK 96, 614 P.2d 45, 51–52.

[13] Fent v. Henry, 2011 OK 10, ¶0, 257 P.3d 984, 985.

[14] State ex rel. Stuart v. Rapp, 1981 OK 87, 632 P.2d 388, 389; Spencer v. Wyrick, 2017 OK 19, ¶1, 392 P.3d 290, 291; Nesbitt v. Apple, 1995 OK 20, 891 P.2d 1235, 1239.

[15] Davis v. Thompson, 1986 OK 38, 721 P.2d 789.

[16] Shadid v. City of Oklahoma City, 2019 OK 65, ¶5, 451 P.3d 161, 164–65.

[17] See, e.g., Flandermeyer v. Bonner, 2006 OK 87, ¶1, 152 P.3d 195, 197 (assuming original jurisdiction in divorce proceeding with no claim of publici juris).

[18] Keating v. Johnson, 1996 OK 61, 918 P.2d 51, 55.

[19] Id. (noting that a “different rule would so flood this court with original actions as to destroy its efficiency as an appellate court”).

[20] Id.

[21] Keating v. Johnson, 1996 OK 61, 918 P.2d 51, 62–63 (Kauger, J. dissenting).

[22] Id. (collecting cases).

[23] Rocket Properties, LLC v. LaFortune, 2022 OK 5, 502 P.3d 1112 (determining that inverse condemnation was not a “tort” governed by the Governmental Tort Claims Act); Oklahoma State Med. Ass'n v. Corbett, 2021 OK 30, ¶2, 489 P.3d 1005, 1006 (assuming original jurisdiction and issuing declaratory judgment that the Oklahoma Health Care Authority lacked authority to implement its “SoonerSelect” program); Treat v. Stitt, 2021 OK 3, ¶1, 481 P.3d 240, 241 (issuing declaratory judgment that new tribal gaming compacts between the state and certain tribes were invalid under Oklahoma law); Kiesel v. Rogers, 2020 OK 65, ¶5, 470 P.3d 294, 296 (assuming original jurisdiction but denying request to toll statutory initiative petition circulation deadline); Treat v. Stitt, 2020 OK 64, 473 P.3d 43, 44, as corrected (July 22, 2020), reh'g denied (Sept. 14, 2020) (issuing declaration that the governor lacked authority to enter into two tribal gaming compacts on behalf of the state, and the agreements do not bind the state); Shadid v. City of Oklahoma City, 2019 OK 65, ¶5, 451 P.3d 161, 165 (assuming original jurisdiction to determine whether the MAPS ordinance was unconstitutional as violating the single subject rule); Hunsucker v. Fallin, 2017 OK 100, 408 P.3d 599, as modified (Dec. 20, 2017) (assuming original jurisdiction and concluding that provisions of IDEA2 requiring seizure and destruction of driver's license upon arrest violated due process and single subject rule); Spencer v. Wyrick, 2017 OK 19, ¶1, 392 P.3d 290, 291 (assuming original jurisdiction but denying request to declare Justice Patrick Wyrick ineligible to serve as Supreme Court justice); In re Initiative Petition No. 397, State Question No. 767, 2014 OK 23, 326 P.3d 496 (concluding issue regarding mandatory nature of five-day period for attorney general to file response to ballot title for initiative petition was publici juris and could be adjudicated by the Supreme Court); Shadid v. Hammond, 2013 OK 103, ¶4, 315 P.3d 1008, 1009, as corrected (Dec. 11, 2013) (assuming original jurisdiction to determine issues of first impression involving the application of the Oklahoma Open Records Act and a local sealing rule); Fent v. Henry, 2011 OK 10, ¶1, 257 P.3d 984, 986, as corrected (Feb. 15, 2011) (assuming original jurisdiction to consider the validity of State Question No. 752 Legislative Referendum No. 352); State ex rel. Oklahoma Dep't of Pub. Safety v. Gurich, 2010 OK 56, ¶1, 238 P.3d 1 (assuming original jurisdiction “to resolve important issues of public safety involving injuries to bystanders in police pursuits”); Coffee v. Henry, 2010 OK 4, ¶1, 240 P.3d 1056, 1056–57 (assuming original jurisdiction to determine whether the governor has the authority to issue a “line item veto”); Fent v. State ex rel. Dep't of Hum. Servs., 2010 OK 2, 236 P.3d 61, 63 (assuming original jurisdiction to determine whether certain court fee requirements are unconstitutional, noting “the issue affects the funding of all of the courts in the state and affects all of those who file lawsuits in those courts” and was thus publici juris); Fent v. Contingency Rev. Bd., 2007 OK 27, ¶1, 163 P.3d 512, 516 (assuming original jurisdiction to determine whether the mandatory participation by the legislative members of the Contingency Review Board in the process of approval of expenditures from appropriations to the Oklahoma Opportunity Fund are an impermissible intrusion upon the executive branch's powers); Barzellone v. Presley, 2005 OK 86, 126 P.3d 588 (“The issue of jury fee collections is a matter of publici juris, warranting consideration by the Supreme Court.”); Edmondson v. Pearce, 2004 OK 23, ¶12, 91 P.3d 605, 614, as corrected (July 28, 2004) (“There appears little question the matter is publici juris in nature, dealing as it does with the constitutionality of an Act banning cockfighting and related activities that was recently passed through the initiative process by a statewide vote of Oklahoma's electorate.”); Grimes v. City of Oklahoma City, 49 P.3d 719 (Okla. 2002), as corrected (July 8, 2002) (assuming original jurisdiction to resolve challenge to constitutionality of statute governing municipal support of public schools and two ordinances adopted in reliance on the statute); Ethics Comm'n v. Keating, 1998 OK 36, ¶0, 958 P.2d 1250, 1252 (assuming original jurisdiction to resolve dispute over enforceability of Ethics Commission Rule that prohibits the governor from using state-owned vehicles for transportation to and from political fundraisers); Petition of Univ. Hosps. Auth., 1997 OK 162, ¶1, 953 P.2d 314, 315 (assuming original jurisdiction to approve lease of the university hospitals from the University Hospitals Trust to HCA Health Services of Oklahoma).

[24] See Colo. Const. Art. 6, §3 (“The supreme court shall give its opinion upon important questions upon solemn occasions when required by the governor, the senate, or the house of representatives; and all such opinions shall be published in connection with the reported decision of said court.”); S.D. Const. art. V, §5 (“The Governor has authority to require opinions of the Supreme Court upon important questions of law involved in the exercise of his executive power and upon solemn occasions.”).

[25] See, e.g., The Homesteaders v. McCombs, 1909 OK 202, 103 P. 691, 691–94 (citing cases).

[26] See, e.g., Jonathan D. Persky, “’Ghosts That Slay’: A Contemporary Look at State Advisory Opinions,” 37 Conn. L. Rev. 1155, 1186–88 (2005).

[27] See, e.g., In re Senate Resolution Relating to Senate Bill No. 65, 21 P. 478, 478 (Colo. 1889); Wheeler v. N. Colo. Irrigation Co., 11 P. 103, 107 (Colo. 1886); In re House Resol. No. 30, 10 S.D. 249, 72 N.W. 892, 892 (1897).

[28] Oklahoma was not the only state without an express advisory opinion provision to import Colorado and South Dakota’s publici juris doctrine. Wisconsin, too, borrowed heavily from these states’ publici juris doctrines, even though its constitution similarly lacked express advisory opinion authority. And Wisconsin’s publici juris opinions were quoted by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in Homesteaders v. McCombs, 1909 OK 202, 103 P. 691, 691–94 (citing Attorney General v. City of Eau Claire et al., 37 Wis. 443; State ex rel. Wood v. Baker et al., 38 Wis. 78; State ex rel. Radl v. Shaughnessey, 86 Wis. 646, 57 N. W. 1105; State v. St. Croix Boom Corporation et al., 60 Wis. 565, 19 N. W. 396; May et al. v. Keep, 2 Pin. (Wis.) 301, 1 Chand. 285).

[29] Id. (quoting, inter alia, People ex rel. Kindel v. Clerk of the Dist. Ct. of Arapahoe Cty., 22 Colo. 282, 44 P. 507; Wheeler v. N. Colo. Irrigation Co., 9 Colo. 248, 11 P. 103, 105).

[30] Homesteaders, 1909 OK 202, ¶13.

[31] See, e.g., Smith v. Hall, 1911 OK 109, 28 Okla. 435, 114 P. 608, 608; State v. Crockett, 1922 OK 157, 86 Okla. 124, 206 P. 816, 817; State v. McCullough, 1917 OK 473, 67 Okla. 8, 168 P. 413, 415; Darnell v. Higgins, 1926 OK 683, 124 Okla. 201, 255 P. 678, 678–79.

[32] See, e.g., State v. Ross, 1919 OK 257, 183 P. 918, 918 (assuming original jurisdiction where failure to do so would “work great delay in the opening of the public schools of the affected districts”).

[33] Halstead v. McHendry, 1977 OK 131, 566 P.2d 134, 136.

[34] See Ethics Comm'n v. Keating, 1998 OK 36, ¶¶3-9, 958 P.2d 1250, 1252-54 (addressing the validity of Ethics Commission rules); Shadid v. City of Oklahoma City, 2019 OK 65, ¶5, 451 P.3d 161, 164-65 (addressing the validity of a city ordinance); Rocket Properties, LLC v. LaFortune, 2022 OK 5, ¶¶1, 14-15, 502 P.3d 1112, 1115 (determining requirements for inverse condemnation proceedings).

[35] See Edmondson v. Pearce, 2004 OK 23, ¶¶11-13, 91 P.3d 605, 613–14.

[36] State ex rel. Stuart v. Rapp, 1981 OK 87, 632 P.2d 388, 389; Spencer v. Wyrick, 2017 OK 19, ¶1, 392 P.3d 290, 291; Nesbitt v. Apple, 1995 OK 20, 891 P.2d 1235, 1239.

[37] See, e.g., Ethics Comm'n of State of Okl. v. Cullison, 1993 OK 37, 850 P.2d 1069, 1072; Oklahoma State Med. Ass'n v. Corbett, 2021 OK 30, ¶2, 489 P.3d 1005, 1006; see also Barzellone v. Presley, 2005 OK 86, n.16, 126 P.3d 588, 592 (noting that because of the breadth of the court’s original jurisdiction, “the question of whether we should grant declaratory relief is not a question of power or jurisdiction but the appropriateness of that particular procedure or remedy”).

[38] State ex rel. Howard v. Oklahoma Corp. Comm'n, 1980 OK 96, 614 P.2d 45, 51–52.

[39] Id.

[40] Hunsucker v. Fallin, 2017 OK 100, 408 P.3d 599, as modified (Dec. 20, 2017).

[41] The relaxation of traditional standing requirements is discretionary, and the fact that a matter would seem to be publici juris does not guarantee that the court will do so, particularly where the case originates in district court.  See, e.g., Indep. Sch. Dist. No. 5 of Tulsa Cnty. v. Spry, 2012 OK 98, ¶¶0-5, 292 P.3d 19, (Mem) – 20 (refusing to allow the OEA or various school districts to assert injury to the rights of Oklahoma's students, concluding the plaintiffs had not established standing to challenge the constitutionality of a voucher program for students with disabilities).

[42] Oliver v. Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Bd., 1961 OK 9, 359 P.2d 183, 190.

[43] 1991 OK 55, 813 P.2d 1019, 1031.

[44] City of Enid v. Pub. Emps. Rels. Bd., 2006 OK 16, ¶30, 133 P.3d 281, 299–300.

[45] See 5 Okla. Prac., Appellate Practice §15:33 (2022 ed.); see also Ritter v. State, 2022 OK 73, n.17, __ P.3d __; Schnedler v. Lee, 2019 OK 52, ¶11 n.8, 445 P.3d 238; Ashikian v. State ex rel. Okla. Horse Racing Comm'n, 2008 OK 64, n.45, 188 P.3d 148; Davis v. GHS Health Maint. Org., Inc., 2001 OK 3, ¶¶25-26, 22 P.3d 1204; Schulte Oil Co. v. Okla. Tax Comm'n, 1994 OK 103, n.8, 882 P.2d 65, 69; First Fed. Savings & Loan Ass'n v. Nath, 1992 OK 129, n. 35, 839 P.2d 1336, 1343.


Originally published in the Oklahoma Bar Journal – OBJ 94 Vol 2 (February 2023)