Summarized by Kent Larsen
U.S. Senate Confirms Two LDS Judges
Las Vegas NV Sun 24May00 N2
By Greg Tuttle and Benjamin Grove: Las Vegas Sun
WASHINGTON, DC -- In the wake of a deal struck Monday between Democrat and
Republican leaders, the US Senate confirmed 16 Federal Judges, including LDS
Church members Roger L. Hunt and Kent J. Dawson. Both men are from and will
serve in Nevada, and were nominated by President Clinton at the suggestion
of Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) who is also an LDS Church member, leading some
in Nevada to criticize the nomination.
Reid deflected criticism of the nominations yesterday, saying that the
religious affiliation of the two Judges had nothing to do with their
nomination. "It has nothing to do with their qualifications. Here are two
people, two very fine trial lawyers with experience in the courtroom and
having considerable time as judges. I think that's a pretty good combination."
The confirmations broke a log-jam in the Senate caused by both Republicans,
who sought to delay confirmations so that a hoped-for Republican President
can make his own appointments, and by Democrats who refused to approve law
professor Bradley A. Smith for a Republican seat on the Federal Election
Commission. But while the compromise increased the number of confirmed
appointments so far this year to 23 from just seven, 36 additional
nominations to judgeships remain under consideration by Senator Orrin
Hatch's Senate Judiciary Committee.
The 58-year-old Hunt has been serving as a US Magistrate Judge since 1992. A
fourth-generation Nevadan, he has a bachelor's degree from BYU and a law
degree from George Washington University in Washington DC.
Dawson, 55, got his law degree from the University of Utah in 1971. He
worked as the Henderson, Nevada city attorney from 1973 to 1979 and as a
private attorney until 1995. Since then, he has served on the Henderson