Comments about ‘BYU law professor Thomas Lee nominated to Utah Supreme Court’

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Published: Friday, May 28 2010 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Sarah Levin

I love the aristocracy that exists in Utah's political/legal world. The Mathesons, The Lees. Alexis de Tocqueville in his famous book Democracy in America has a chapter (Ch 8 in Part II) explaining how lawyers and the legal system temper democracy in America. He pointed out that lawyers and judges function as aristocrats in America.

Mitch Skousen

I am less and less impressed with Mike Lee, his family and Gov. Herbert. You know this is political, Herbert is softly endorsing Mike Lee with this pick.


You might not want to vote for Mike Lee, but I don't understand how you wouldn't be impressed with him or his family. His father was an outstanding attorney, BYU president and Solicitor General of the United States. Mike Lee was a Supreme Court Clerk. I, personally, met him just as he was about to enter law school and I was VERY impressed with him at that time.

This is a family of over achievers who should receive respect for their accomplishments.

As far as aristocracy goes, anyone can enter the political arena in this country. Of course, NO ONE should ever vote for someone because of who their father was. John F. Kennedy, Jr. comes to mind. I couldn't believe how many people wanted him to run for president even though he had no particular qualifications or experience. I don't think he even wanted to run.

The Lees are an oustanding family and they should be given credit for it. However, they have each achieved on their own and not based on their family.

The Big One

You forgot the Levitts, Daddy put Mike in office, the Bennetts and who could forget the ultimate daddys boy Huntsman. The UVU Pres is there because of Daddy.
The list is long and will only get longer.


I hope all of the conservatives that think Kagan is not qualified for the Supreme Court because she hasn't been a judge listen to the arguements here.

Mitch Skousen

I am less and less impressed with Mike Lee, his family and Gov. Herbert. You know this is political, Herbert is softly endorsing Mike Lee with this pick.

We the People

The difference between the US Supreme Court and the Utah Supreme Court is big. I mean really big.

Than being said, I agree with you; we have little idea about how Lee will judge. I am so tired of dynastic family legacies. They make me sick.

John Charity Spring

The prior comments ignore the true issue. The real issue is the current governor's refusal to put anyone with criminal law experience on the bench.

The most importan cases that the Supreme Court will hear are criminal cases. And yet, the governor continues to ignore this fact. Instead, he continues to appoint one jurist after another who has no background in criminal law and no sense of how important these cases are.


I live in Colorado and I am not LDS. What is the religious makeup of the Utah Supreme Court? I would think that Mike Lee is LDS since he teaches at BYU. Will the Church control the Court as it does your Legislature and your Executive branch ?
Just wondering...


Prof. Lee clerked for Justice Clarence Thomas and graduated with "high honors" from the University of Chicago law school. Sounds pretty qualified, at least on paper.

I think he looks more senatorial than his brother, not that that matters.


I agree with Cats comments. Rather than casting stones on those in the public eye I wish people would stop and do the research before they judge an individual because of a name. If they had done some reading they would find the Lee family specifically, Rex, Tom and Mike are all extremely intelligent, hard-working, moral people. They have based their lives in service their families and their fellow man, always trying to do the morally right thing and uphold the foundations of this country. They are educators and leaders in a time when so many in the public eye are hypocrites and morally questionable if not completely corrupt. You may disagree with their stance on a given issue and that’s your right as free American but you have to respect their intelligence, achievement and moral compass.

I applaud Tom Lee for his continued service as an educator and to this country in upholding the truth and backbone of America, our constitution and its laws as a free democratic nation. Tom Lee is an intelligent and fair man and will be a great asset to all the people in Utah.


Dear Peabody: The "Church" does NOT control our legislature. The people do. The people in this state happen to be majority LDS. But, others are represented.

In Massachussetts, a lot of people are Catholic. Therefore, Catholic views have a great sway on their government. In the so-called bible belt, evangelical philosophy has a lot of influence in their state governments. That's as it should be.

The views of the people are what SHOULD influence the government of any state or nation. If those views are informed by their faith, so be it.


I'd rather have an upright, moral, honest teacher as a supreme court justice than that bunch of hypocritical miscreant socialists that we have running the country from the White House.

I see no family dynasty in the Lee's. I see a father who was once Solicitor General (his only political appointment), a founding dean of the BYU Law school, Law Professor, President of BYU, and the smartest man I have ever met in person. Yep, that's a real dynasty right there. Right up there with the Kennedy family, or the Adams family, how about the Roosevelt family. Maybe the Bush family.


How many times must we refer to Professor TOM LEE as Mike Lee? Whether you agree with his appointment or not, maybe you could get his name right. Just saying. In my opinion, his credentials are fantastic and he will make a great Justice.

FYI, I also think Scott Matheson is great nomination for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Do all of you think that the Mathesons should be struck down for their family political connections too?


Congratulations Professor Lee! I just listened to a talk by your father last week when he was at BYU about the Constitution and the Restoration - wonderful! For those of us left behind he definitely was taken too soon.


Otab: "I hope all of the conservatives that think Kagan is not qualified for the Supreme Court because she hasn't been a judge listen to the arguements here." You are exactly right. I suspect that many of those who oppose Kagan for that reason will ignore their own arguments as they throw their support behind Lee.


Rex Lee was an impressive man. Tom's Lee's mother is the matron at the Jordan River Temple and has really impressed me. It would make sense to me that their children would be "on the ball" and be intelligent.

The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree. There is more logic than politics in this appointment.

Bob Pomeroy

Rex' kids have indeed achieved in the opportunities presented to them. But one need not look far to understand that they were presented many of those opportunities in large part because of connections. At some level, the candidates presented for selection are all extremely qualified and even a flip of a coin would result in an xlnt choice. The point is that they qualified for selection. Notwithstanding that Rex (and his father before him) hardwired their kids to be Constitutional lawyers, each had to burn their own midnight oil. My problem is that I cannot draw any thing resembling a straight line between Rex admonishing that Constitutional Law ultimately rests on principled decisions, the Citizen's United case, and the underlying bases of the tea party. I guess I trust the Lees, even though I fundamentally disagree with their purported politics. I was certainly never the beneficiary of any opportunity arising from Rex, but it doesn't require much looking around to see that many, many doors were opened by Rex for those felt he had qualified for the same.


How proud Rex Lee must be that his sons have taken the opportunities he gave them and have worked hard to reach this level of success in their lives. Mike is a man of honor, integrity, strength and courage to take on Washington, D.C. with the U.S. Constitution in hand. Thomas, clearly, is willing to enforce the law without creating it. God bless these two men for living up to the legacy of their father.


@John Charity Spring: One of Governor Herbert's appointments was J. Fred Voros to the Court of Appeals. Judge Voros spent about twenty years in the criminal appeals section of the Attorney General's Office.

@Peabody. Justice Nehring is a Lutheran. I believe the other four members of the Utah Supreme Court are LDS. I believe six members of the U.S. Supreme Court are Catholic, and it doesn't seem to affect their jurisprudence on either the Utah Supreme Court or the U.S. Supreme Court.

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