Doug Combs

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Doug Combs
Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court
In office
December 1, 2016 – December 31, 2018
Preceded byJohn F. Reif
Succeeded byNoma Gurich
Associate Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court
Assumed office
January 1, 2011
Appointed byBrad Henry
Preceded byRudolph Hargrave
Personal details
Born (1951-10-17) October 17, 1951 (age 67)
Shawnee, Oklahoma, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationSt. Gregory's University
University of Oklahoma (BA)
Oklahoma City University (JD)

Douglas L. "Doug" Combs (born October 17, 1951) is an Associate Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. He was appointed by Governor of Oklahoma Brad Henry to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, effective January 1, 2011, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Rudolph Hargrave.[1] Combs was selected to become Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, effective December 1, 2016 and served until December 31, 2018.[2]

Early life[edit]

Justice Combs was born on October 17, 1951 in Shawnee, Oklahoma, which he still considers home. Combs is also a member of the Muscogee Nation. Justice Combs graduated from Shawnee High School in 1969. He attended St. Gregory’s Junior College in Shawnee (now St. Gregory's University ), and the University of Oklahoma to earn a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1973. He earned his juris doctorate from the Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1976 and was admitted to the bar the same year. Prior to taking the bench, Combs was in private practice, an assistant state attorney general and as a deputy clerk for the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

Legal career[edit]

Justice Combs has served as chief judge of the twenty-third judicial district and as the presiding judge of the North Central Administrative Judicial District. He served as a board member of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference from 2006 to 2010 and held the office of president of the Oklahoma Judicial Conference in 2009. 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. He has served as Vice Chief Justice for the term prior to being selected Chief Justice. He was selected by the court to become Chief Justice for a two-year term. Normally, the term begins on January 1, but Combs agreed to start on December 1, 2016. He said that current Chief Justice John Reif could retire early because of health issues. Justice Noma Gurich replaced Combs as Vice Chief Justice in 2017.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Justice Combs has been married to Janet Lea Combs for 42 years. She formerly owned and operated the Shawnee Ballet Company, a dance studio, but retired in 2010. The Combs are members of St. Paul's Methodist Church of Shawnee. They have two adult children, Christopher and Eric, both attorneys.[2]


  1. ^ Office of Governor Brad Henry, "Gov. Henry Names Judge Doug Combs to State Supreme Court Archived December 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine," November 5, 2010 (accessed November 10, 2010).
  2. ^ a b c Misa, Vicky. "Oklahoma Supreme Court: Combs named Chief Justice." Shawnee News-Star. November 24, 2016. Accessed November 29, 2016.
Legal offices
Preceded by
Rudolph Hargrave
Associate Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court
Preceded by
John F. Reif
Chief Justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court
Succeeded by
Noma Gurich