Confirmation of Clark Waddoups as Utah's newest federal judge was delayed Thursday when it became entangled in a Senate Judiciary Committee fight over issuing subpoenas for Justice Department records.
Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., objected to issuing subpoenas sought by Democrats to the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel to investigate such things as its advice to the military about use of torture. Kyl said the subpoenas are too broad, so he used his right to automatically delay consideration of them for a week.
In retaliation, Democrats delayed the committee confirmation of all nominated judges, including Waddoups who had been scheduled for a vote Thursday.
"If they (Republicans) are going to put over the only thing that we've asked for, that (confirmation of judges) is going to be put over," said Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
The earliest that Waddoups's nomination can now come up in committee is next Thursday which is just one day before the target for adjournment for the year by Congress. That leaves little time for the confirmation to occur afterward on the Senate floor.
Waddoups was nominated by President Bush last May, and his confirmation hearing was held last week. He is the senior partner in the major Utah law firm of Parr, Waddoups, Brown, Gee & Loveless.He is nominated to fill a vacancy created last year when former District Judge Paul Cassell decided to return to teach at the University of Utah.