CHS grad confirmed as federal judge
The United States Senate has confirmed Clinton High School graduate Charles B. Goodwin to serve as a federal judge on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.
Goodwin was confirmed by a 52-42 vote in the Senate on Tuesday, 13 months after he was nominated by President Donald Trump. He is currently a federal magistrate judge in Oklahoma City.
Goodwin is the son of former Clinton residents Charles L. and Nancy Goodwin. His father, who died last November, was a former Clinton mayor and the district judge for this part of Oklahoma for 24 years before retiring in 2010.
At the time of his son’s nomination his father said he was thrilled by the selection. “He’s been a good federal magistrate, I’m told. He started out going around to courthouses with me a long time ago, so I’m kind of excited about that. His mother and I are proud of him.”
“If you’re looking for a judge that has respect for the Constitution and loves his fellow human beings, that’s definitely Charles,” added his mother 13 months ago.
The new federal judge graduated from Clinton High School in 1988, then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in letters from the University of Oklahoma in 1994. After a stint as editor of the Cordell Beacon newspaper, he started law school and earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1997 from the OU College of Law. He has been serving as a magistrate judge since 2013.
Before becoming a judge, he was a partner and civil litigator at Crowe & Dunlevy, P.C., and served as a law clerk to Judge Lee West who will have preceded him on the Western District Court.
“It has been a long road since Judge Goodwin was nominated last year,” said U.S. Sen. James Lankford. “I am grateful for his patience and willingness to serve as he and his family walked through this process. He has been a respected attorney, an outstanding magistrate judge, and now he will finally serve Oklahomans and our nation on the federal bench for the Western District of Oklahoma.”
His nomination drew opposition from the American Bar Association which criticized his work habits, feeling he did not spend enough time in the office. Goodwin defended himself in a Dec. 17 hearing before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, saying he has a home office and sometimes works remotely when he doesn’t have court hearings and is only studying written opinions.
He was backed for the federal judgeship by his present boss, Chief Judge Joe Heaton.
Following Tuesday’s confirmation U.S. Sen. James Inhofe said, “The Senate made the right choice by confirming Charles Goodwin to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. In his four years as U.S. magistrate judge in the Western District of Oklahoma, he has proven himself to be fair and ethical. I am confident he will uphold the Constitution and continue to serve the people of the Western District well.”