Oklahoma residents are subject to Oklahoma state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Oklahoma as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Oklahoma also has its own state laws. Oklahoma state laws include the Oklahoma Constitution, laws passed by the Oklahoma legislature and periodically codified in the Oklahoma Statutes, and decisions by courts that interpret Oklahoma laws.
When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, its constitution was the longest governing document in the world. It contains 29 articles and over 150 amendments. The Constitution provides three paths for amendments: ballot initiatives, legislative referrals, and constitutional conventions. Article V describes the procedures for initiated amendments, including the number of signatures required on a petition. Article XXIV covers legislative referrals, which require a simple majority vote in each chamber of the legislature before an amendment is placed on a ballot. Article XXIV also provides that a proposal for a constitutional convention will appear automatically on a ballot at 20-year intervals.
The Oklahoma Statutes contain the laws passed by the Oklahoma legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Oklahoma Constitution are often interpreted by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals (the highest court in Oklahoma for criminal cases), and the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals. Three federal district courts in Oklahoma also issue decisions that may affect Oklahoma residents. These are the Eastern, Western, and Northern District Courts of Oklahoma. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by federal district courts in Oklahoma. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Tenth Circuit or from the Oklahoma Supreme Court or the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.