Updated: Governor Mary Fallin Thursday named Patrick Wyrick to serve as a justice on the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Wyrick, 35, succeeds Steven Taylor, who retired from the bench last year. OK AG Scott Pruitt praises the choice.
Wyrick has served as solicitor general in the Oklahoma attorney general’s office since 2011. As solicitor general, Wyrick represented Oklahoma before the U.S. and Oklahoma supreme courts, and other federal and state courts. He also authored attorney general opinions and served as a key legal adviser to a variety of state officials.
“Patrick Wyrick is well positioned to tackle the difficult constitutional questions the Oklahoma Supreme Court must confront,” said Fallin. “He has litigated several significant constitutional law cases involving almost every frequently litigated provision in our state constitution. I have confidence he will perform his new duties with integrity and professionalism.”
The Supreme Court appointment is Fallin’s first on the nine-member court.
Supreme Court justices serve on the court as long as they are able and must appear on the ballot and be retained by voters every six years, according to state statute.
Fallin selected Wyrick from three applicants submitted to her by the Oklahoma Judicial Nominating Commission. The governor must choose from those three.
Applicants had to be 30 or older and a practicing attorney or judge for at least five years.
Wyrick, a fourth-generation Atoka native, has deep ties in the 2nd Judicial District, and has remained involved in the family business, Wyrick Lumber Co., which has locations in Atoka and Hugo.
“It is the honor of a lifetime to represent my hometown district as a member of the Oklahoma Supreme Court,” Wyrick said. “I will continue to work hard and do my best to serve the people of this great state. I have committed myself to public service, and my years as Oklahoma solicitor general have offered me the opportunity to routinely litigate cases before the Supreme Court. I am uniquely familiar with the high court’s jurisprudence.”
Wyrick earned his bachelor’s degree in sociology/criminology from the University of Oklahoma and his juris doctorate from OU’s college of law.
Before joining the attorney general’s office, Wyrick worked as an associate attorney at a private law firm and as a law clerk to Judge James Payne in the U.S. District Court of Eastern Oklahoma in Muskogee.
Wyrick and his wife, Jamie, have three children, twins Cole and Carter, and Claire.
Attorney General Scott Pruitt said of the appointment, “Patrick is an exceptional choice to serve on our state’s Supreme Court. As a constitutional scholar well-versed in both state and federal law, Patrick will bring a robust judicial philosophy to his work on the Court. More than a superb lawyer, I have come to know Patrick over the years as a dear friend and trusted counselor. His wisdom, compassion, and integrity are unparalleled among the many public servants with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working.
“Serving as Oklahoma’s first Solicitor General, he has played an integral role in the state’s effort to defend the rule of law. Patrick will be greatly missed, but I take comfort in knowing that his passion in serving the people of Oklahoma will continue in this new capacity. Congratulations, my friend.”