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Senator Reportedly Blocked Law Dean for 10th Circuit Because of International Law Background

Posted Sep 12, 2011 6:53 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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An Oklahoma senator reportedly blocked the University of Tulsa’s law dean for a federal appellate nomination because she has a background in international law.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has been an outspoken opponent of using international law to decide cases, NewsOK reports. His objections effectively killed the nomination of University of Tulsa law dean Janet Levit, the story says.

NewsOK relied on information from Oklahoma City attorney Mike Turpen, a Democratic Party fundraiser, and other lawyers familiar with the situation. Levit was being considered for a spot on the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The White House has had difficulty finding federal nominees who are acceptable to the administration, Oklahoma’s two Republican senators, and the state’s only Democrat in Congress. The 10th Circuit position has been vacant since July 2010.

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