A quirk in the law gives citizens the power to kick out politicians who don’t serve the people.
For once, it seems that lawyers have actually been useful. Without them, Oklahomans never would have found this quirk in the wording of the law. When voters heard about the massive inactive voter purge happening in a few months, they looked into what they could do to prevent it. They found something better.
Around two months ago, a lawyer found a clause in an obscure subsection of a voting law that said if politicians don’t act in the interests of the voters, they can be purged from their position. This purging can only be prevented if the politician pleads their case to the public under the light of a blue moon on exactly three odd-numbered cable news channels. This then comes to a simple majority vote on whether that politician was compelling.
Once this was brought to the public’s attention, politicians began to be purged. It started slowly. At first, it was just the politicians that everyone sort of hated. You know — the ones who actually are in the pocket of Big Pharma™ and such.
One such politician was Mark “Allegra” Johnson, the self-proclaimed King of Allergies. When the motion to remove him came up in the legislature, Mr. Johnson stated, “You know, I just don’t get it. I try to serve the interests of those that got me elected, and suddenly, someone says I’m not serving ‘the people.’ I’m serving the people that gave me money and that should be enough, okay?”
Mr. Johnson was just the beginning. After him was the King of Oil himself, Mr. Dick Sanders. This started a ripple effect. Soon, cable news began wall-to-wall coverage of pleas, with some politicians trying to get on national television to hit the quota of odd-numbered channels.
This brought the debate to the Supreme Court on the validity of this quirky clause, but a month ago, the Supreme Court of the United States decided it’s none of their business. Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stated in the majority opinion of Johnson v. People of Oklahoma, “Honestly, who cares about special interests? I’m here until I die or someone royally screws over the Constitution, so let’s get special interests out of politics one way or another.”
This Supreme Court case led to a purge of a majority of politicians in Oklahoma. For a few weeks, the three dozen civil servants who were left tried to continue to keep the government working, but they hit a snag when there was no governor to sign the bills they had quickly gotten through the state legislature. The politicians then demanded emergency elections to fix the situation.
In the new elections last week, an entirely new class of politicians was sworn in. Since these eager lawmakers realized special interests got their predecessors kicked out (because who can cater to the people if their backers stand in direct opposition?), they campaigned with donations from small donors and local individuals. I, for one, am excited to see what this new class of Oklahoma lawmakers tackles first, and I’ve heard rumors that other states are seeing if they can use the legal precedent that the Supreme Court created to oust some of their own problematic lawmakers.