The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission and its administrative law judges have the power to determine whether a provision of that states workers’ compensation law is being unconstitutionally applied to a particular party in a Commission proceeding.
This means the Commission can decide the constitutionality of any part of the new law as it applies to an injured worker or any party. This is a huge decision that settles one of the biggest questions surrounding the case of Vasquez v. Dillard’s, where the commission ruled as unconstitutional two significant sections of the statutes that govern Oklahoma Opt Out. In fact, I understand that an essential part of Dillard’s appeal is based on this very issue. 
Now that they have an answer on that pesky question, I would suspect they are on tenuous ground regarding the remainder of their appeal. 
This decision was the result of an appeal in the case Robinson v. Fairview Fellowship  Home, 2016 OK 42. The Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals had ruled that the claimant would need to go to district court for a ruling on constitutionality. Attorneys Jim Devinney and Bob Burke asked for the Supreme Court to accept certiorari. That is exactly what they did. 
For Opt Out proponents and opponents alike, this is huge. One of the very big question marks was whether the state Supremes would back up the administrative board. Personally I am thrilled to know they will; in the Vasquez case the 3 commissioners laid out a strong and cogent decision that was solid in its logic. It deserves to be upheld. 

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