Levi Rickert: Sen. Coburn playing politics with Indian judge pick

"Assistant US Attorney Arvo Mikkanen, an enrolled tribal member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, was nominated by President Obama in February to be US District Judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma, which includes Tulsa.

Mikkanen has a distinguished legal career and has served as Assistant US Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma since 1994. Prior to becoming part of the US Attorney Office, he was an associate attorney and litigator with the Andrews Davis law firm in Oklahoma City. Additionally, from 1988 to 1994, Mikkanen served in various judgeships for several Oklahoma American Indian tribes, including Chief Justice of the Cheyenne-Arapaho Supreme Court from 1991 to 1994.

Former Democratic Governor Brad Henry recommended Mikkanen for the federal bench to the White House. At the time, the National Congress of American Indians called for a fast confirmation of Mikkanen.

"He is an excellent choice for the Federal District Court," said Jefferson Keel, president of the nation's oldest American Indian organization after February's nomination.

Soon thereafter, Senator Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, and Senator Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, blocked any action on the nomination. Senator Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, called unacceptable for the job, but declines to talk about it."

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Levi Rickert: Senator Coburn Plays Politics with Federal Court Nominees (Native News Network 9/13)

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