Opinion: Arvo Mikkanen qualified to serve on federal judiciary

"Three weeks ago, President Obama nominated Arvo Mikkanen for the position of U.S. district judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma. He is an extraordinarily qualified candidate. That is why I was disappointed to read that our two senators have announced their opposition to the nomination and are now asking that it be withdrawn. I was stunned to learn that our senators made these pronouncements before the paperwork detailing Arvo's stellar 25-year legal career and service to the United States had been delivered to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

I am not a politician. I am a courtroom lawyer. I have tried many civil and criminal cases, including the prosecution of Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols. I may not fully understand the confirmation process and I am aware the senators maintain that the White House failed to follow some Washington customs. However, any system that fails to confirm Arvo Mikkanen's nomination is a broken system.

Rarely have I seen a nominee of his equal in my 42-year career. I know his intellect, work ethic and attitude from my service with him as U.S. attorney."

Get the Story:
Patrick M. Ryan: Politics and our court system (The Oklahoman 2/23)

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