Senator Coburn opposes American Indian judicial nominee

Senator Tom Coburn. R-OK, objects to President Obama’s nomination of Arvo Mikkanen as U.S. judge in Tulsa Oklahoma.

Last Wednesday, Pres. Obama named a longtime federal prosecutor in Oklahoma City to be a U.S. district judge in Tulsa, but Senator Tom Coburn immediately voiced his opposition.

Arvo Mikkanen, an assistant U.S. attorney since 1994 in the western district, was nominated by Obama to be a judge in the northern district of Oklahoma, based in Tulsa.

Before working as a prosecutor, Mikkanen was in private practice and served as a judge for the Court of Indian Offenses and the Court of Indian Appeals for the Kiowa, Comanche, Apache, Wichita, Caddo, Delaware, Fort Sill Apache, Ponca, Pawnee, Kaw, Otoe-Missouria, Tonkawa, and Cheyenne-Arapaho Tribes. He received his bachelors degree from Dartmouth University in 1983 and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1986.

Sen. Coburn, who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee and reviews federal judicial nominations, said he had “serious concerns” about Mikkanen’s nomination.

“I believe he is unacceptable for the position and another example of how politics in Washington neglect to take into account what is best for the people of Oklahoma,” Coburn said.

Coburn did not elaborate on his objections. His opposition could seriously hinder Mikkanen’s confirmation because of the deference given by the Judiciary Committee to home-state senators.

Senators can also put a “hold” on apparently any Senate action, although a new rule change at least prevents them from doing so anonymously.

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0 Responses to Senator Coburn opposes American Indian judicial nominee

  1. Sheila says:

    I have serious concerns about Senator Coburn’s serious concerns. What are they Senator? Elaborate.

  2. Ditka says:

    Even if he were not Native American – he is incredbilly qualified: federal prosecutor, former tribal judge, law professor, private practice, etc.

    Heck, even the American Bar Association has given him the thumbs up.

    This is a shame.

  3. SpiritWolf says:

    I am Blackfoot and Cherokee, and reading on Sen. Coburns new ideals for getting America out of the deficit, it seems to me that he is trying to irradicate Native America by way of putting Natives into further turmoil. His current proposals directly violate the Government’s treaties with Native Americans, putting him in the same hypocritical class as Andrew Jackson! A massacre by way of pen, not sword. Something needs to be done about this biggoted joker.

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