Skip Navigation
Judging the Environment judicial nominations photo

A project tracking federal judicial nominations and courts.


Scott Matheson, Jr.

Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals
Confirmed December 22, 2010

President Barack Obama's March 3, 2010 nomination of Scott Matheson, Jr. to the Tenth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals was the subject of a ludicrous smear that it was somehow related to an upcoming vote by his brother, Congressman Jim Matheson on the health care reform bill. 


Even before Cong. Matheson voted against the bill, this conspiratorial fantasy linkage had been debunked by the right-wing Power Line blog and by Utah Republicans, conservatives and others who know the facts.  These include Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Bennett, KSL-TV (“unjust” and “callous”) The Salt Lake Tribune (“laughed the … suggestion off the table”), and two very conservative former federal judges appointed by President George W. Bush.


Paul Cassell, a former district judge, wrote: “Given that the ABA was evaluating Scott in roughly January, one would expect an announcement roughly six weeks later – exactly as happened here. … Unfortunately for conspiracy theorists, the facts show that the Scott Matheson nomination has nothing to with the health care debate.”

Scott Matheson was nominated to replace former 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Michael W. McConnell, who wrote “From my personal knowledge, this speculation cannot be true. … The decision to nominate Matheson must have been made by mid-October, … President Barack Obama nominated Matheson, who has superb credentials and excellent character, for the position despite the politics of health care, not because of it.”


On June 10, 2010, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Matheson's nomination on a unanimous voice vote.


gavel icon See all letters for this nominee

gavel icon See all senators' statements for this nominee

gavel icon See all news stories about this nominee

gavel icon See all editorials and commentary about this nominee