Live coverage: Thunder vs. Raptors

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Tulsa attorney withdraws from consideration for federal judgeship

Advertisement
O'Connor
O'Connor

Tulsa attorney John O'Connor has withdrawn his name from consideration for a federal judgeship, ending a process that didn’t appear to favor his confirmation.

“It was a great honor to have been nominated by the president for the federal judgeship," O'Connor said Thursday.

"I am likewise deeply honored to have had the vigorous and sustained support from Senators (Jim) Inhofe and (James) Lankford, along with many other Oklahoma lawyers, judges and business and civic leaders. I look forward to focusing on my thriving law practice and continuing my public service by supporting the interests and missions of civic groups, nonprofits and businesses in our community.”

O’Connor was nominated by President Donald Trump last April to fill a spot as a roving federal judge to take cases in all three federal judicial districts in Oklahoma.

O’Connor’s judicial nomination was among many not considered by the U.S. Senate before the end of 2018, and it was returned to the White House.

Earlier this year, the president renominated Patrick Wyrick to be a U.S. district judge in the western district of Oklahoma; Wyrick’s nomination was another that had stalled when the last Congress ended.

The president did not renominate O’Connor, who had been rated unanimously unqualified by the American Bar Association, a rare rebuke of a nominee’s suitability to sit on the federal bench.

Inhofe, R-Tulsa, and Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, who recommended O’Connor to the White House, stood by him last year.

Lankford said Thursday, “I am grateful for John and his family’s sacrifice as they patiently and professionally endured our nation’s grueling nomination process.

“I completely understand his decision not to continue to seek this nomination after almost a year of delay as a nominee for the court. It is my hope that in the days ahead we can fix the Senate’s broken nomination process so future nominees are not forced to undergo this kind of delay.”

Even if Wyrick, an Oklahoma Supreme Court justice, is confirmed as expected by the U.S. Senate for the federal judgeship in Oklahoma City, the White House will have two vacancies to fill in the state: the one for which O’Connor had been nominated and the one created when Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange took senior status in the western district.

Inhofe said nominations for at least one of the posts — and maybe both — should be imminent.

“We want to get them filled with the right people, and we know the criteria the president wants,” Inhofe said.

Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›

Comments