Sapulpa High School Graduate Makes History, Next Chief Justice

Chief Justice Tom Colbert

The Oklahoma Supreme Court elected its next chief justice Thursday making history as the first African-American to hold the position in the state.

Justice Tom Colbert was chosen by his colleagues to serve the states highest court as chief justice beginning Jan. 1. Justice John Reif will serve as Vice Chief Justice.

According to the Court's announcement, Justice Colbert will make Oklahoma history as the first African-American chief justice. He previously made history as the first African-American vice chief justice and the first on the state court.

Justice Colbert was appointed to the Supreme Court by Gov. Brad Henry back in October of 2004. He was born in Oklahoma City and graduated from Sapulpa High School.

He received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma in 1982 and served as Assistant District Attorney in Oklahoma County from 1984-1986.

A swearing in ceremony for Chief Justice Colbert and Vice Chief Justice Reif will be Jan. 4 at the State Capitol.