Oklahoma to have first black chief justice of state’s Supreme Court

Justice Tom Colbert has been elected as the next Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court effective in January 2013.

The state of Oklahoma will make history yet again when Justice Tom Colbert becomes Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court on January 1, 2013.

The 62-year-old Colbert was appointed the first African-American member of the court in October 2004, and later became the first African-American Vice Chief Justice. He also served four years as an appeals court judge.

Over the course of his career Colbert who earned a bachelor’s degree from a historically black college Kentucky State University, a master’s degree in education from Eastern Kentucky University, and his juris doctorate from the University of Oklahoma has worked in academia as a dean at Marquette University Law School, as a government attorney, and as an attorney in private practice.

Justice Colbert and his wife Doretha Guion Colbert have three adult children.

The Oklahoma Judicial Center says Justice Colbert’s swearing in will take place January 4, 2013. He will serve a two year term as chief.


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