Oklahoma politicians balk at Indian nominee for 10th Circuit
Politicians in Oklahoma from both parties say Keith Harper, a member of the Cherokee Nation, should not be nominated for a spot on the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Tulsa World said Harper is under consideration for a vacancy on the court due to the resignation of Judge Robert Henry, who is from Oklahoma. Republicans and even Democrats say the seat should go to an Oklahoman -- and they say that doesn't include the prominent attorney who has worked on the Indian trust fund lawsuit.

"It is stupid,'' Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) told the paper. "If they are serious about doing something with this guy, there were ways they could have done it that would have been much more palatable to us.''

"I can assure you that this will not stand,'' Rep. Dan Boren (D-Oklahoma) added.

"The fact is he is not an Oklahoma," said former U.S. Attorney Dan Webber. "His nomination would be an insult to Oklahoma, especially to its legal community, and to Oklahoma Democrats. It is the rough equivalent to treating Oklahoma like Guam. "

The 10th Circuit hears cases from the federal courts in Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado, home to more than 60 tribes.

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Court vacancy causes stir (The Tulsa World 5/23)