Supporters defend Arvo Mikkanen from home-state opposition

Arvo Mikkanen, a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, is qualified to serve as a federal judge, say supporters who are wondering why lawmakers from his state are opposing his nomination.

“I don’t see how anyone could question Arvo’s qualifications for the federal bench," Daniel G. Webber, a former U.S. Attorney who is now in private practice, told Tulsa Today.

Arvo has worked an assistant federal prosecutor the U.S. Attorney's Office in the Western District of Oklahoma since 1994. He's also served as a tribal court judge and had experience in a wide range of civil, criminal and tribal matters.

"He has a distinguished 25-year career as an Oklahoma lawyer. He started by clerking for two different federal judges. He worked in private practice at a well-known Oklahoma firm. He has represented the United States in both civil and criminal cases. In fact, Arvo has been an advocate in over 475 federal court cases. He has been recognized by the Oklahoma Bar Association for his 'pro bono' service and by the FBI for his prosecutorial skills -- not many lawyers can say that," Webber told Tulsa Today.

Traditionally, home-state Senators are consulted about nominees for federal courts. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) and Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) said they weren't told about Mikkanen before last week's announcement from the White House.

Get the Story:
Analysis: As Obama and Coburn clash over judicial nominee Arvo Mikkanen, supporters defend him (Tulsa Today 2/9)
Initial Reaction Cool To Indian Judicial Nominee (AP 2/10)

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