Steven W. Taylor

Score: 72%
Steven W. Taylor
Appointed by: Governor Brad Henry
Retention date: September 24, 2004

Justice Steven W. Taylor was born June 7, 1949 in Henryetta, Oklahoma.  He  graduated McAlester Public Schools in 1967.  He earned his B.A. in Political Science from Oklahoma State University in 1971.  Justice Taylor received the Juris Doctor degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1974.

Taylor joined the United States Marine Corps in 1970 and served on active duty from 1974-1978.  He was trained as an infantry platoon commander and later served as a prosecutor and Chief Defense Counsel.  In 1977 he became the youngest judge in the U.S. Armed Forces.  He was promoted to the rank of Major.

Following his active duty service in the Marines, Taylor practiced law in McAlester from 1978-1984.  In 1980 he was elected to the McAlester City Council and in 1982 was elected Mayor of McAlester, making him the youngest Mayor in that city’s history.  He was named one of Three Outstanding Young Oklahomans for 1983.  In 1985, in recognition of Taylor’s leadership in economic development, the City of McAlester named a multi-million dollar industrial park for him where many industries now employ several hundred Oklahomans.  In 1997 he was named “Citizen of the Year” in McAlester.  Taylor serves on the Board of Directors of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City National Memorial and the Oklahoma Heritage Association.  He is a member of the First United Methodist Church of McAlester and is a trustee of Oklahoma City University.  His wife Mary is a teacher in the McAlester Public Schools.  They have one son Wilson. Justice Taylor is the co-author of a book, The University of Oklahoma College of Law: A Centennial History.

In 2002 Taylor was recognized by Oklahoma State University as a “Leadership Legacy” and 2003 “Distinguished Alumnus”.  In 2007 Justice Taylor was inducted into the Oklahoma State University Hall of Fame and in 2009 the University of Oklahoma presented him with the Regents Alumni Award. He is the only person to have received the highest alumni recognition from both O.S.U. and O.U.  

In March 1984 Governor George Nigh appointed Taylor Associate District Judge for Pittsburg County.  In 1991 he was the first Associate District Judge ever to be elected President of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference.  In 1994, Taylor was elected District Judge of the 18th Judicial District.  In 1997 and 2003 he was elected Presiding Judge of the ten county East-Central Judicial Administrative District.  Taylor was the recipient of the Oklahoma Bar Association “Award of Judicial Excellence” in 2003 as the outstanding Oklahoma judge of the year.

In his over 20 years as a trial judge, he presided over more than 500 jury trials including the Terry Nichols Oklahoma City bombing case.

On September 24, 2004, Governor Brad Henry appointed Taylor to be a Justice of the Supreme Court of Oklahoma.

During the 2007 Oklahoma Centennial year Oklahoma magazine named Justice Taylor as one of the “100 Who Shaped Us”- a list of living and past Oklahomans who influenced the first 100 years of our state. In 2009 Justice Taylor was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, the highest honor an Oklahoman can receive from the state.