Scene: A Senate hearing at the Oklahoma Capitol.
An official with the Attorney General’s Office: You want to know how much we spend defending the state in legal challenges? You want a dollar amount?
Sen. Kay Floyd: The citizens of Oklahoma and I are entitled to that.
Official: You want a dollar amount? You want to know the manpower?
Floyd: The citizens of Oklahoma and I want the truth! How much are we spending to defend unconstitutional laws?
Official: You can’t handle the truth! Senator, we live in a state where certain lawmakers put their ideologies over the principals of the state and federal constitution. These bills are passed by lawmakers who either share that ideology or fear losing support in their district with a “no” vote. Who’s gonna defend these bills in court? You? No! The Attorney General’s Office holds that responsibility, and we do it with pride.
Floyd: Did you defend legislation in court you knew was unconstitutional?
Official: I did the job lawmakers sent me to do.
Floyd: Did you defend that legislation?
Official: Yes, the Attorney General’s Office did, and we spent $****** doing it!
As you might guess, we at Chicken-Fried News are big A Few Good Men fans. When we heard Oklahoma City Democrat Floyd requested an interim study on “the monetary and nonmonetary ramifications of filing unconstitutional legislation in Oklahoma,” our minds wandered back to that film’s pivotal scene.
Officials with the Attorney General’s Office told Tulsa World that they couldn’t put a dollar amount on their role in defending bills and state actions. Think restrictions on abortions or a Ten Commandments monument on the Capitol grounds.
It has all the makings for a good film and policy for our state.