Senators Lankford and Inhofe Slam ABA Rating of John O’Connor

WASHINGTON, DCSenators James Lankford (R-OK) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK) today criticized the American Bar Association’s “not qualified” rating of Tulsa attorney John O’Connor, who was nominated by the President on April 10 to serve as District Judge on the US District Court for the Eastern, Northern, and Western Districts of Oklahoma. 

O’Connor is regularly listed as one of Tulsa’s Top Lawyers and has been honored by the Super Lawyers Business Edition national publication. Since 1995, O’Connor has received an “AV” Anonymous Peer Review Rating with Martindale-Hubbell, which is described as the highest ethical and legal ability rating based upon the ratings of his peers.

“It’s not only disappointing that the ABA has given John O’Connor a poor review, but it is unfair that John was not allowed to respond to their criticism,” said Lankford. “For a legal institution like the ABA to deny due process is hypocritical. In more than 35 years of legal practice, John has significant diversification of solid legal experience in Oklahoma. He is a highly qualified candidate for this judicial nomination, and should be given a fair evaluation by the Judiciary Committee based on the merits of his work.”

“In his 37 years of practice, John O’Connor has been known by all to be an attorney of the highest competence, honesty and integrity. He has received the highest possible ethical and legal rating from his peers during his decades of practice, and has been recognized for his continued service to community and civic organizations,” Inhofe said. “It is disappointing that the American Bar Association uses limited criteria when assessing nominees, but their opinion should not outweigh the fact that John had a successful appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month. I look forward to a full and fair consideration of his nomination on the Senate floor soon.”  

On July 11, Lankford introduced O’Connor at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. O’Connor is currently an attorney at Hall Estill, a Tulsa-based regional full service law firm.