Mr. Inhofe: We have a very quality judge coming up for confirmation now. It happens to be someone who is a very close personal friend of mine, a judge in Oklahoma, Judge Greg Frizzell. We thought he’d be confirmed before the end of the year, but it didn’t work out; there was some regrettable political bickering about some of the other judges that held up all the nominations. Fortunately, over the last few weeks I have had a chance to talk to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. I want to thank Senator Pat Leahy in particular for being so generous with me and allowing me time to talk about Judge Frizzell and why he should be confirmed. Senator Leahy told me after our conversation that he’d be willing to put Judge Frizzell on this top-priority list. He didn’t have to do that; so I want to compliment Senator Leahy for doing that for us and for justice in America.
I want to begin by telling you about Greg Frizzell’s family and background. I can remember when his dad Kent Frizell served as Attorney General for the state of Kansas before moving his family to Oklahoma where we became very close friends. Kent has served in many different capacities within the legal field, serving the Under Secretary of Interior and teaching at the University of Tulsa Law School for almost 20 years. Given his father’s distinguished work, it is no surprise that Judge Frizzell felt compelled to pursue a career in public service. His friends and colleagues have praised his professional qualifications and personal integrity, as well as his ability to rule fairly from the bench. For as long of a time as this young judge has been around, you would think that you would hear negative things about him, but I have never heard one thing negative about him.
Both Democrats and Republicans agree that this is the quality of guy that should be on the federal bench. Robert Sartan, a member of the Board of Governonrs, says Greg Frizzell is a man of extremely high integrity with a deep sense of personal responsibility toward his fellow man. Judge Claire Egan, praised him and talked about the urgency to fill vacant spots on the bench—she emphasized the fact that the court right now has three judges doing the work of six. Ralph Thompson, a prominent senior judge serving on the Federal bench in Oklahoma, has also praised him, saying that there’s no one out there that could be more qualified than Greg Frizzell for this particular appointment. So I’m really glad that we’re finally getting around to this, I just apologize to him and to his family for the period of uncertainty since the judicial nominations stalled last Congress.
Not only has Judge Frizzell proven an effective and fair legal professional, he is a devoted husband and loving father of six children. Joe Wolgemuth, a prominent and well-respected attorney in Oklahoma, recalls an incident where Judge Frizzell had to work late one night doing work and he brought all six kids to spend time with them into the late hours—anyone who can handle six kids while doing his judicial work, I think can handle this job. So I am glad that in just a matter of minutes we will be able to vote to confirm Judge Greg Frizzell to be the next U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma. He will be a great judge. I yield the floor.