Fallin salutes retiring general
Gov. Mary Fallin was in the Washington area on Tuesday to speak at a retirement ceremony for Lt. Gen. Harry “Bud” Wyatt, a former adjutant general of Oklahoma who was serving as director of the Air National Guard.
Wyatt had served as the Air National Guard director since Feb. 1, 2009.
Fallin praised the Oklahoman for bringing “the strength, resilience and spirit of our state — known as the Oklahoma Standard — to the Pentagon and the adjutant generals of our nation.”
Wyatt entered the Air Force in 1971 and was a command pilot with more 3,000 flying hours in eight aircraft. He received a law degree from the University of Tulsa and served as an associate district judge in Oklahoma.
As director of the Air National Guard, he was responsible for programs affecting more than 106,700 Air National Guard members in more than 88 wings and 200 geographically-separated units throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands, according to the Air Force.
Court may review soldier's case
The U.S. Supreme Court wants the Justice Department to weigh in on the case of U.S. Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, the Edmond soldier serving a 15-year prison term for killing an Iraqi man.
Behenna, whose 2008 conviction of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone was upheld by two military appeals courts, filed a petition this month for the Supreme Court to review his case. The Justice Department initially declined to respond to Behenna's arguments, and the justices were set to decide on Feb. 15 whether to hear Behenna's appeal.
But the high court Monday asked the Justice Department to file a response by Feb. 27 to Behenna's petition, which says a decision by the highest military appeals court in Behenna's case was “dangerously wrong.”
Bacharach vote scheduled
The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote Thursday on the nomination of Robert E. Bacharach to be a judge on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the appellate courts a step below the U.S. Supreme Court.
Bacharach, a U.S. magistrate judge in Oklahoma City, sailed through the committee last year and was expected to be confirmed overwhelmingly by the full Senate. Senate Republicans, however, began a midyear blockade of President Barack Obama's judicial nominations, hoping that Mitt Romney would win the White House and make his own picks.
Bacharach's nomination effectively died when the last Congress adjourned, but Obama submitted the nomination immediately when the new Congress convened. Bacharach was first nominated more than a year ago.
Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau