This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Melinda Rogers' "Federal judicial appointments stalled as Senate takes holiday recess" (Tribune, Dec. 27) aptly describes how after Utah federal district court nominee David Nuffer "sailed through the Senate Judiciary Committee in October … the full Senate failed to vote on his confirmation. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, objected to the request of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, who wanted to finalize the confirmation process for dozens of judicial branch nominees before the Senate's holiday break."
Indeed, unexplained Republican objections repeatedly have blocked many consensus judicial nominees.
Utah GOP Sens. Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee both serve on the Judiciary Committee. Inexplicably, they have been unable or unwilling to convince their Republican colleagues to allow floor votes for Nuffer and many others whom the committee approved unanimously.
Instead, Rogers' article quotes Lee's ineffectual disappointment: "I am frustrated, particularly with regard to Judge Nuffer. He came out of committee two months ago. There is absolutely no reason why we shouldn't have confirmed him before we got out. I expected he would be confirmed."
This obstruction must end; Utah's senators can and should ensure that Nuffer and other committee-approved judicial nominees receive floor votes.