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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
/articleid/3736727/1/pictures/1905670">Photo - John E. Dowdell
John E. Dowdell

Leahy said Tuesday, “With the American people's re-election of President Obama, there is no good purpose to be served by this further delay.

“But Robert Bacharach and nearly a dozen judicial nominees, who could be confirmed and who would fill four circuit court vacancies and five additional judicial emergency vacancies, are being forced to wait until next year — or perhaps forever — by the Senate Republican leadership.”

Dowdell, an attorney in private practice in Tulsa, was nominated in February to replace Judge Terence C. Kern, who assumed senior status nearly three years ago.

Obama's first nominee for the post, Arvo Mikkanen, was withdrawn a year ago because of opposition — never clearly explained — from Oklahoma Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe.

Inhofe, R-Tulsa, and Coburn, R-Muskogee, strongly support Dowdell and Bacharach.

In remarks on the Senate floor on Tuesday, Inhofe said Dowdell had the “requisite experience and judicial temperament to be a fine judge.”

“I only wish we would get more of this type of judicial nominee from the administration,” Inhofe said.

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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