Mar 22 2012
Senator’s “NO” Vote Reflects Principled Objection to Unconstitutional Appointments
WASHINGTON – Today, after Judge David Nuffer was confirmed to be a District Judge for the District of Utah, Senator Mike Lee released the following statement:
“In recent weeks, I have made a point of objecting to President Obama’s unconstitutional ‘recess’ appointments. On January 4, President Obama bypassed the Senate’s constitutional right to advise and consent to nominees and unilaterally made four controversial appointments at a time when the Senate was holding regular pro-forma sessions and did not consider itself to be in recess. President Obama’s appointments are different in kind than any previous recess appointments made by any previous president. No president—Democrat or Republican—has ever asserted the authority to determine for himself when the Senate is or is not in session.
“The President consciously chose to trample on the Constitution. Considering himself above the law, he took for himself a power that our founding document makes clear belongs to the Senate.
"His appointments were unprecedented and clearly unconstitutional. Having taken an oath to support and defend the Constitution, I find myself duty-bound to resist this brazen and unprecedented attack on legislative branch authority.
“Among the ways I have chosen to register my objection to these unconstitutional actions is to vote against the President’s nominees for district and circuit court judgeships. Today I continued in taking this principled stance by voting “no” on the confirmation of Magistrate Judge David Nuffer to be a District Judge for the District of Utah. I did so despite my unequivocal support for Judge Nuffer and my belief that he will be an excellent federal district court judge.
“I have been a strong and consistent advocate for Judge Nuffer. I was pleased to speak on his behalf at his Judiciary Committee hearing last year and to reiterate my support when the Judiciary Committee voted to report his nomination to the Senate floor. I remain confident in Judge Nuffer’s abilities and qualifications.
“I had the privilege of appearing before Judge Nuffer when he was a magistrate judge and I was an attorney. I found him to be unusually well informed and well prepared, and to exercise exceptionally good judgment. He has served the bar and the bench in Utah and beyond with distinction. He has served as President of the Utah State Bar Association and as a member of the Utah District Court Civil Procedure Rules Committee, the Utah District Court Arbitration and Mediation Panel, and the National U.S. Court IT Advisory Committee.
“Judge Nuffer has become an expert in the use of technology by litigants and in the courts, and his extensive publications in this field and others have benefitted countless attorneys and judges. In addition, for the last decade or so, Judge Nuffer has also served as an adjunct professor at BYU’s law school, preparing the next generation of attorneys for their work in the law.
“Judge Nuffer is well known and highly regarded throughout the State of Utah. His knowledge, his temperament, and his experience, including 16 years as a magistrate judge, are among the qualities for which he is rightly admired.
“I am pleased that Judge Nuffer will now have the opportunity to serve Utah and the nation in this important federal district court judgeship.”