WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), made the following statement following President Bush’s nomination of James H. Payne to serve as a Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

“Obviously Judge Payne is as imminently qualified now as when the Senate confirmed him in 2001 as an Oklahoma District Court Judge,” Inhofe said. “Today is an appropriate time for this nomination as we have witnessed the swearing in of this nation’s new Supreme Court Chief Justice. Many of the problems that Americans perceive in their government originate not in the legislative, but the judicial branch. I'm confident that Judge Payne will enforce the laws and the Constitution as written and bring judicial restraint to the bench.”

Following graduation from the University of Oklahoma College of Law, Judge Payne’s almost 40-year legal career has included military service as an Air Force JAG Officer, government practice as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, private law practice, tenure as U.S. Magistrate Judge, and most recently as a U.S. District Court Judge for the North, East, and West Districts of Oklahoma. He has extensive courtroom experience both as a practicing civil attorney and a criminal prosecutor while serving as Assistant U.S. Attorney. He has appeared before numerous federal and state courts and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.