Michael A. Scaperlanda, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, is the new president of St. Gregory's University in Shawnee, the state's only Catholic university.
Workers began digging out the Ten Commandments monument that has been on Oklahoma’s Capitol grounds since 2012 on Monday night, well ahead of the court-ordered removal date of Oct. 12.
John Estus, a spokesman for the Office of Management and Enterprise Services, said the decision to do the work after dark was based on public safety and security.
By Tuesday, the monument was already installed at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs just a few blocks from the Capitol.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered a Ten Commandments monument removed from the state Capitol grounds Tuesday, three years after its installation sparked a religious feud.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma first filed a lawsuit challenging the monument's constitutionality in 2013.
After a series of challenges to the distribution of Gideon Bibles in the state's school districts, Oklahoma's attorney general stepped in to defend the practice.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Scott Pruitt announced a new initiative "designed to defend religious freedom and provide support to Oklahoma schools facing intimidation."
In an effort to block the state's involvement with gay marriage, the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday to abolish marriage licenses in the state.
The legislation, authored by Rep. Todd Russ, R-Cordell, amends language in the state law that governs the responsibilities of court clerks. All references to marriage licenses were removed.
It looks like the death penalty may be on life support.
January was set to be the deadliest month for U.S. executions in 2015, but nine of the 15 executions were stopped. In an unprecedented wave, three of the deadliest states -- Texas, Oklahoma and Missouri -- stopped executions planned for last month. February has just begun, but nine of its 12 scheduled executions have been halted.
Last year was not a good year for the death penalty, either, as death sentences hit a 40-year low and executions were at a 20-year low.
Oklahoma City's archbishop called the overflow crowd at a Sept. 21 eucharistic Holy Hour "a powerful witness of faith."
More than 600 people filled St. Francis of Assisi Church for the prayer service led by Archbishop Paul Coakley. Another 1,400 people stood in overflow areas and outdoor prayer gardens to listen to his homily over loud speakers.
The Holy Hour was celebrated as a response to a Satanic "black mass" held the same day in a downtown arena.
Midazolam has been implicated in botched executions in three states, and lawyers have filed a petition to stop a convicted murderer's execution in fear the drug will be used.
A federal district court in Oklahoma issued an injunction Wednesday preventing several Catholic entities from being forced to comply with the federal Department of Health and Human Services' contraceptive mandate.
Of the nine Catholic entities granted relief by the court's action, four are based in Baltimore, three in Oklahoma, one in North Carolina and one in Kansas.
"We have to stop executions until there's been a full investigation, independent investigation and full transparency," one lawyer said.