Former Federal Judge, Oklahoma Native Weighs In On Judge Merrick Garland

Tuesday, May 24th 2016, 10:11 am
By: News 9

Ten weeks have passed since President Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. But still, many Senate leaders have yet to even meet Judge Garland. So now a former federal judge and Oklahoma hall of fame inductee is weighing in.

Judge Michael Burrage is the first Native American federal Judge and served at the federal level for several years. He was first nominated  in 1994 by President Bill Clinton to be a U.S. district judge and was confirmed by the Senate in the same year. Burrage served on all three of the U.S. district courts in Oklahoma until 2001. He has also been following the developments with Judge Merrick Garland.

President Obama nominated Garland to the vacant Supreme Court seat on March 16. Sunday marked the 67th day since the nomination, and the President tweeted that since 1975 it's taken 67 days on average to confirm a Supreme Court Nominee. Burrage feels now is the time for the senate to act. 

"The bench is not supposed to be political. But it is political. There's no way of getting around it. And my thought is that he's a sitting president and there's a vacancy and they're a qualified nominee that the senate should do their job and confirm them," Burrage said.

Oklahoma U.S. Senators James Lankford and Jim Inhofe have both met with Judge Garland, but both say they will not support the nominee because it's a presidential election year.