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U.S. Senate confirms John E. Dowdell to U.S. district judgeship in Tulsa

After months of stalling by Republicans, Tulsa native Dowdell is cleared unanimously, but another Oklahoma nominee is still awaiting a vote
by Chris Casteel Modified: December 11, 2012 at 7:52 pm •  Published: December 12, 2012
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— After months of Republican stalling, the Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed John E. Dowdell to be a U.S. district judge in Tulsa.

The 95-0 vote, joined by Republican leaders who have been blocking votes on President Barack Obama's judicial nominations, came six months after Dowdell sailed through the Judiciary Committee only to get caught up in presidential politics.

Senate Republicans have yet to allow a vote on another Oklahoma judicial nominee: Robert E. Bacharach, a federal magistrate judge in Oklahoma City who has been nominated for a seat on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a step below the U.S. Supreme Court.

Republicans had been holding up most nominations in hopes that Mitt Romney would win the presidency and substitute his own nominations for the ones made by Obama. Since the president won re-election on Nov. 6, Republicans have allowed votes only on a few that had been stalled.

20 still waiting

The Senate on Tuesday also confirmed a district court nominee from California. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said last week that 20 nominees are still awaiting votes.

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by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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