Justice Joseph M. Watt was born in Austin, Texas, March 8, 1947. He graduated from Austin High School in 1965. He received his B.A. degree in History/Government from Texas Tech University in 1969, and his Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from the University of Texas Law School in 1972. That same year, Watt was named Outstanding Law Student in the Nation by the Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity and he was elected to the University of Texas Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa National Honorary Leadership. Watt was admitted to practice law in both Texas and Oklahoma.
Justice Combs was born on October 17, 1951 in Shawnee, Oklahoma. He is a resident of Shawnee, Oklahoma. Combs is also a member of the Muscogee Nation. Combs was appointed by Governor Brad Henry as Justice to the Supreme Court of Oklahoma on January 1, 2011. He served as district judge in the twenty-third judicial district from 2003 through 2010, and served as special district judge from 1995 to 2003. Prior to taking the bench Combs was in private practice and served as an assistant state attorney general and as a deputy clerk for the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
Justice James E. Edmondson was appointed to the Supreme Court by Governor Brad Henry on December 2, 2003. Edmondson served as District Judge for District 15 since 1983. Before serving as District Judge, Edmondson was a partner in the Edmondson Law Office (1981-1983). In Oklahoma’s Eastern District, Edmondson served as Acting U.S. Attorney (1980-1981), and as Assistant U.S. Attorney (1978-1980). He also served as Muskogee County’s Assistant District Attorney (1976-1978).
Chief Justice Tom Colbert, the first African-American to serve on the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, was born in Oklahoma City. He graduated from Sapulpa High School, earned an associate’s degree from Eastern Oklahoma State College in 1970, and a bachelor of science degree from Kentucky State University in 1973. While at Kentucky State, Justice Colbert was named an All-American in track and field. Justice Colbert served in the United States Army and received an honorable discharge in 1975.
Justice James Winchester was appointed Jan. 4, 2000 as a member of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma, the state's court of last resort for civil matters. A native of Clinton, Oklahoma, Justice Winchester received his bachelors of art from the University of Oklahoma and his juris doctorate from Oklahoma City University.