To: Sen. Weiler, T.,
Subject: Senate Hearing for Utah Court of Appeals Nominee Margaret Plane
Dear Senators –
I write today as a lawyer in our community in support of the nomination of Margaret Plane for the Utah Court of Appeals and to raise a serious concern about the Senate’s failure to thus far schedule a committee hearing to consider her nomination. Margaret is well known in the legal community for being incredibly sharp, fair-minded, and committed to our community. She is undoubtedly qualified and would be an immense asset to the Utah Court of Appeals.
I'd like a specific response and legal reason why the Senate has failed to consider and decide Margarert's nomination. Under Utah law, the Senate is required to render a decision on each judicial appointment made by the governor (Utah Code 78A-10-105, “The Senate shall consider and decide on each judicial appointment within 60 days of the date of appointment”). Failing to hold a committee meeting and, if necessary, a public hearing on a nomination is a dereliction of duty and is illegal. Margaret is entitled to the Senate’s full consideration. If there are concerns about her record or temperament they should be aired publicly, rather than in back room schemes. I speak for many of my friends and colleagues in saying that this course of action is very concerning and that we are closely watching this appointment. I urge you to schedule a hearing as soon as reasonably practicable, as Utah law requires.