was something else the senator said last week that caught my attention.
When asked last week to describe why he concluded so quickly and surely
that I was "unacceptable" to become a federal judge, Sen. Coburn said:
"No comment." When asked if he knew me, the senator said: "I know
plenty. I have no comment." (My emphasis). Now, typically, judicial
nominees are supposed to keep quiet during the long period between the
time they are drafted to serve on the bench and the time they are
confirmed (if they are confirmed). And I am not normally someone who
rocks the boat (after all, you typically don't get to spend 17 years as a
federal prosecutor if you rock the boat). But this is still America,
and nominee or not, I still have a right to ask questions.
first question I have today is for Sen. Coburn. What exactly do you
think you know about me that disqualifies me for a spot on the bench?
The implication of your quote last week--"I know plenty. I have no
comment"--implies that you believe you have some non-public information
that would cast a negative pall upon my nomination. So what is it? As a
dedicated public servant, someone who has worked in the federal
government longer than you have, I believe I am entitled to that answer;
and then to be free of the dark insinuation your comment suggests. Even
on a more basic level, as one man to another, you owe me an
explanation, do you not? I am quite sure the White House also would like
to know your response-- and so, too, would the millions of Native
Americans, including many of your own constituents in Oklahoma, who have
a particular interest in my nomination.
set of questions is for Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla), Sen Coburn and the
rest of the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the rest of
the Senate. I would like to know whether the breach of protocol alleged
against the White House in my case is why my nomination appears doomed.
If that's the case, I would like to know how Oklahomans, especially
those in Tulsa who have business in federal court, benefit from the
Senate retaliating against the White House in this fashion. How does a
further delay in filling that judicial seat help people? And if I'm not
being rejected in a fit of senatorial pique, I would like to know which
case I have ever worked on, or which cause I have ever promoted, makes
me now "unacceptable" to be a federal judge?
another question. Sen. Coburn said my nomination was "another example of
how politics in Washington neglect to take into account what is best for
the people of Oklahoma." But what's worse for Oklahoma or about
Washington: The White House not adhering to a set of courtesies and
customs or a competent nominee failing to get fair consideration before
the Senate? Sen. Coburn complained about the White House's lack of
professional courtesy toward him. And that's a legitimate beef. But
what about the professional courtesy due to me as a judicial nominee who
has dedicated his adult life to the law?