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Inhofe to join Lankford meeting with Garland

WASHINGTON _ Both of Oklahoma's senators plan to meet on Wednesday with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, though neither wants the confirmation process to move forward this year.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, agreed Tuesday morning to share the appointment time set last week for a meeting between Garland and Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City.

Garland has a strong connection to Oklahoma: As a top Justice Department official in 1995, he coordinated the investigation of the Oklahoma City bombing and the prosecution of those involved, winning widespread praise in the community.

Garland, now a federal appeals court judge in Washington, DC,  has said his work on the Oklahoma City case was the most important of his life.

Inhofe spoke by phone to Garland the day President Barack Obama nominated him last month and said he wouldn't be supporting his nomination. Inhofe and Lankford share the GOP position that the next president should pick the replacement for Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February.

Many Republicans have declined to meet with Garland. Lankford said he will take the opportunity to thank Garland for his service to Oklahoma City.

Inhofe is expected to host the meeting on Wednesday, according to an aide.

Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›