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.
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.
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.
Jotab: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.
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
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
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.
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
@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.
To We the people: "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." Uhhhh, stop and think a bit about that statement. WE DON"T KNOW how Lee
will judge....but you are tired of dynastic family legacies? Isn't that judging
how he will perform before he even makes one ruling?@ peabody. If
you live in Colorado, why are you even commenting on this? I bet if we were to
go to the Denver Post and look for your comments, there would not be anything
there. Keep your ignorant comments to yourself and your liberal state.
Haha. The Republicans will support Lee even though he has no experience as a
judge, while opposing Kagan because she has no experience as a judge.
@ defibman | 6:22p.m.May28,2010...@peabody. If you live in Colorado, why
are you even commenting on this? I bet if we were to go to the Denver Post and
look for your comments, there would not be anything there. Keep your ignorant
comments to yourself and your liberal state. I disagree with you!
The DeseretNews is read by people all over the country as well as other papers
like the WashingtonPost.I for one (who has lived in several other
States) welcome their experience and observations. Sometimes they make a lot
more sense than those from some who live in Utah.When we signed up
with DeseretNews, I didn't see anything that said Utah residents only or only
Utah residents can comment.I think it is silly statements like yours
that cause other to question or dislike people from Utah! We need all the
"friends" we can get.I presume you would also support NO-COMMENTS
about the Arizonia-immighation law by anyone in Utah even though we might be
considering something ourselves.I hope your next post invites others
to post and share their views. Besides some in Colorado-own property in Utah &
I would prefer to see a plumber more than a Person of Law.Common sense.
Four out of five members of the Utah Supreme Court are LDS, and accornding to
the comment above, "it doesn't seem to affect their jurisprudence on either the
Utah Supreme Court. . . " I suspect that person has not read many decisions of
this Court. It affects their judgments very much. And another BYU professor,
well as someone who practices before this Court, I feel a headache coming on.
Mitch Skousen shame on you!! Can't you simply congrat a deserving choice for the
bench without crying conspiracy? Look out Mitch, they're coming to get you.
Unlike the Larry above, there are those of us who know Tom Lee well, and find
him exceptionally prepared for the task ahead. He is intellectually in the top
of his profession, and equally important he is an honest, genuine and caring
person. Should one be excluded because others in his family have also been
successful? Tom Lee stands on his own, we are fortunate to have someone of his
character and experience. Thank you, Tom, for being willing to make the
sacrifice that will be required of you should you accept this new direction in
Mr. Lee's educational and professional background is just a part of the issue.
Most judicial nominees attempt to disarm opposition with statements about the
judicial branch being passive and setting no policies. Anyone with an IQ higher
than a houseplant knows that's only true to a point. I knew his dad, Rex Lee,
reasonably well and debated constitutional issues with him on several occasions.
He was one of the most likeable people I've known. Still, if given a vote, I
would not have put him on the US Supreme Court, because from my perspective he
would have restricted individual rights (given the opportunity)in ways that make
me uncomfortable.The Utah Supreme Court doesn't get the
opportunities for social engineering that the US Supreme Court does, but it does
get some, so it's a bit naive to suppose that Mr. Lee's political/philosophical
leanings won't have a bearing on his performance as a justice.
@wandrew,Care to give specific examples of how the religion of the
members of the Utah Supreme Court has affected their jurisprudence? As a
lawyer, I read a lot of opinions, and I really don't recall any effect.
I attended a memorial service for Rex Lee at the U.S. Department of Justice
shortly after his death. Tom Lee spoke, as did two Supreme Court Justices and
the Managing Partner of the senior Lee's national law firm, Sidley and Austin.
The two justices and the managing partner read very appropriate and
well-prepared speeches.Tom Lee spoke without notes. His
presentation was so articulate and well done that the final speaker, a senior
official at the Department of Justice, said, "Wow, how can I possibly follow
that?"If Tom Lee had circulated his resume after that meeting, he
would have received dozens of job offers at the most prestigious law firms in
the country and could have had several government appoints.And that
was many years ago. If he's as impressive now as he was then, Utah is very
lucky to have his services.
I know all three in the casual setting of Utah politics. Of the three I rate Tom
Lee the highest, Tim Bridgewater next, Mike Lee last.I am very happy
that Tom has been nominated to the Supreme Court. Utah will be the beneficiary
for years to come. I am voting for Tim Bridgewater for Senate and wish Mike Lee
the best at his next endeavor. He is a great legal mind but not ready for the US
Senate.Tom is a class act.
Selecting and appointing a State Supreme Court judge should depend on the same
criteria for a Supreme Court judge: the Constitution and the seperation of
powers. Just as judges interpret what the law IS, and not what it should be, so
should the selection and appointment not depend on family name or endorsement.
Such is the case with Mr. Lee. He's completely qualified, and those who claim
that the selection was otherwise haven’t looked at his judicial
philosophy. The decision was determined on merit, alone.
wandrew: Please enlighten us on how the court's decisions reflect LDS bias.
Cite one decision in the past ten years that I can look up and see the
pro-mormon slant at work. Please, your fellow members of the bar are eager to
read this LDS effect on the jurisprudence of the court.
I wonder if he has the same problem managing his money as his little brother
Thom Lee was my professor last year. He is brilliant and intimidating. He will
be a great addition to the Supreme Court.