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Pol Denies Brother Nominated to 10th Circuit to Secure Health Care Vote

Posted Mar 4, 2010 10:26 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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An article suggesting a possible link between an appeals court nomination and a health care vote is prompting denials from the congressman whose brother was tapped for the judgeship.

The Weekly Standard noted that President Obama is trying to woo U.S. Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah, to switch his vote to yes on the health care bill. Yesterday, the White House announced that Matheson’s brother, Scott Matheson Jr., has been nominated to the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times reports that Matheson was a former law dean at the University of Utah, a former U.S. Attorney, and an unsuccessful gubernatorial candidate in 2004. He was an associate at Williams & Connolly from 1981 to 1985.

The Weekly Standard noted Matheson’s background. “Scott Matheson appears to have the credentials to be a judge, but was his nomination used to buy off his brother's vote?” the publication asks.

An anonymous White House official calls the suggestion “absurd,” while a spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Matheson labels it "patently ridiculous," Politico reports. The publication asked spokeswoman Alyson Heyrend whether there were any deals. "Can you spell NO?" she replied.

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