Utahn May Have a Shot at Top Court

Utahn May Have a Shot at Top Court

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Harriet Miers' withdrawal as Supreme Court nominee once again raises the question whether or not Utahn Michael McConnell will be considered as a candidate.

Scott Matheson Junior, dean of the University of Utah's law school, declined to speculate on who might be on a short list for the next nomination. However, he did say McConnell is considered one of the top constitutional scholars in the nation. U-S Senator Orrin Hatch agrees, calling McConnell a "constitutional genius."

McConnell, a judge on the 10th U-S Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver and a Utah resident, was rumored to be on Bush's short list when Justice Sandra Day O'Connor announced her retirement in July.

McConnell could satisfy both Republican conservatives and some moderates. Liberals might praise McConnell for opposing Clinton's impeachment, the 2000 Supreme Court ruling that made Bush president and prayer in school. However, McConnell is also known for his opposition to abortion and for helping the Boy Scouts of America fight to ban homosexuals.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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