The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved Utah Attorney Harold G. Christensen to be deputy attorney general.

The vote was 9-0 and there was no debate. The nomination, which now goes to the full Senate, may come up later this week.After the committee vote, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said he was happy to see the panel accept Christensen, and he predicted that the nomination will be approved by the Senate without any trouble unless "someone wants to play dirty politics at this late date."

Christensen's approval was threatened with delay last week by Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., over Specter's desire to see an anti-drug task force set up in Philadelphia.

But moments before the the committee voted Wednesday, Specter received a letter from Christensen saying "the crisis situation in Philadelphia, coupled with commitments the department has made . . . dictates establishment of the task force."