Obama Accused of Nominating a Qualified Man to the Appeals Court

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Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

To what lengths would President Obama go to ensure the passage of health-care reform? Unethical lengths, Republican critics like renowned hysteric Michele Bachmann are now claiming. Yesterday, Obama nominated Scott M. Matheson Jr., the son of Utah's former governor, to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Matheson is highly qualified, having served as the United States Attorney for the District of Utah and the dean of the University of Utah's law school for many years, and his nomination was praised by the state's Republican senator, Orrin Hatch.

What Bachmann and conservative outlets such as the Weekly Standard find shady, however, is that Matheson is the brother of Congressman Jim Matheson, one of those all-important Democrats who has yet to decide how to vote on health-care reform. Both Congressman Matheson and the White House, obviously, deny that any unseemly deals have been agreed upon. Just because the Matheson family happened to produce a number of fine public servants doesn't mean Obama is trading an appointment of one for the vote of another. It also couldn't hurt, however.

Matheson knocks down vote trading questions [Live Pulse/Politico]
Obama Now Selling Judgeships for Health Care Votes? [Weekly Standard]