An Experienced Federal Defense Attorney
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To Sit On The Bench

Hope everyone had a festive and safe 4th of July holiday. Time to get back to the task of learning and protecting your civil rights which that holiday celebrates.

Having a law practice which is focused on federal criminal prosecutions requires keeping abreast, or informed, of the latest cases as well as the appointment of individuals to the federal courts. There is a lot of controversy regarding the latest nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. I will not wade into that melee'. Judges, and Federal Judges, in particular, are extremely important to our legal system. The state has district judges and associate district judges who are elected. Many are elected and re-elected for decades. Judges should be elected based on their broad experiences in the practice of law, not because they held a particular job before they became a judge. In state court I would like to see a qualification change which would require a person to be in private practice for a period of five years before being eligible to run for judicial office. It is a fact of the human condition that a person who has only government or corporate experience prior to assuming the bench will see problems through the prism of that experience. Some have run for judgeships based solely on having been a career prosecutor previously, but the job is not one of being a prosecutor in a black robe it is the job of being a fair and impartial administrator of justice. With the elections approaching look to the wealth and diversity of experience of those running and make the best selection.

You don't get to make such a choice of federal judges, those choices are made by the President upon the advice and consent of the Senate. I want to state that I have had the privilege of appearing before some outstanding federal judges in my career. The Western District of Oklahoma has an outstanding panel of sitting judges. I am pleased and blessed to be based in this district. I have also appeared before some excellent federal judges outside of this district, including Judge Virginia Phillips of the Central District of California, Judge J. Thomas Marten of the District of Kansas and former Judge, now Justice, Neil Gorsuch at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. There are others which are unnamed and this is no slight, just an accommodation to some brevity.

The Third Branch of Government (the Judiciary) is in many ways the most important of the three branches. This branch is tasked with the keeping of the Constitution and the rights which it memorializes. I will talk some more about the courts next time as it is an important topic which is little understood. For example, what to think of the unpopular judicial decision. But that will have to wait.