Regardless of one's reaction to former Utah U.S. Sen. Robert Bennett's column "Newt Gingrich's position on courts wrong" (Dec. 26), everyone should agree that the Senate is already harming federal courts in Utah and nationwide. Justice delayed is justice denied as obstruction has resulted in an unprecedented lack of federal judges.
Unexplained and unjustifiable objections by unnamed Senate Republicans repeatedly have blocked floor votes on consensus judicial nominees with home-state senator support. Sixteen of these were approved unanimously by the Judiciary Committee, including David Nuffer, who would fill a Utah vacancy the U.S. Courts have decided is a judicial emergency.
After the Senate left until late January, Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee said, "There is absolutely no reason why we shouldn't have confirmed him (Nuffer) before we got out."
Only Utah has two senators on the Judiciary Committee: Sen. Lee and Sen. Orrin Hatch. They could ensure floor votes for Nuffer and other committee-approved judicial nominees.
Staff attorney for Judging the Environment, Defenders of Wildlife