AMANDA DICKSON

Sen. Lee “inclined to support” Merrick Garland as AG

Feb 23, 2021, 11:27 AM | Updated: 5:00 pm
Sen. Mike Lee...
FILE: Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, speaks during a hearing for Judge Merrick Garland, nominee to be Attorney General, before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021 on Capitol Hill in Washington. Photo Credit: Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post via AP, Pool.

Almost five years after his Supreme Court nomination fell through, Judge Merrick Garland made it to the Senate Judiciary Committee, this time as nominee for U.S. Attorney General.

Watching him at the witness table, it’s hard to not imagine how he must feel. “What would have been?”

Lee on Merrick Garland

My partner on Utah’s Morning News, Tim Hughes, and I had the chance to interview a member of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah.

I asked him if the thought ever occurred to him during the hearing, “Ya know – he would have made a good Supreme Court justice.”

Senator Lee: “That exact thought didn’t occurred to me, but he did perform, with a few exceptions, quite well during the hearing, and it occurred to me that he would have performed quite well had he had the benefit of a hearing during that circumstance.”

A tense question

It was clear from the senator’s questioning during the hearing and our conversation that he has respect for Judge Garland, but there was one point of dissension. Senator Lee wanted Judge Garland to admit that Kristin Clarke, Judge Garland’s pick to lead the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, said something terrible in 1994.

While a student at Harvard 27 years ago, she invited a controversial professor to speak, something she has since expressed regret for.

Following the professor’s remarks, she spoke with the student newspaper.

“Professor Martin is an intelligent, well-versed black intellectual who bases his information on indisputable fact,” she said at the time.

Senator Lee wanted Judge Garland to denounce that comment. He told us on KSL NewsRadio: “It was an unremarkable question that called for an unremarkable answer.”

Judge Garland seemed to take offense to Senator Lee’s gotcha question, responding, “I’m a pretty good judge of what an anti-Semite is and I do not believe that she is an anti-Semite and I do not believe that she is discriminatory in any sense.”

Lee likely to support Garland

We spoke before the second session of the hearing began. But I wondered if Senator Lee had made up his mind about whether he would vote to confirm Judge Garland for Attorney General.

Senator Lee: “My inclination is to support him. He’s a good person. He’s a decent person. I believe he’s someone who probably should be confirmed.”

Amanda Dickson is the co-host of Utah’s Morning News and the host of A Woman’s View on KSL NewsRadio. You can hear her weekday mornings on 102.7 FM and 1160 AM, as well as catch her talk show on Sundays. 

Today’s Top Stories

Amanda Dickson

Utah's Morning News Host Amanda Dickson with her husband, Aaron....
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: To honor Aaron, a father’s love for his children

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.
12 days ago
Todd Crandall...
Amanda Dickson

From Addict to Ironman: Todd Crandall runs #93 tomorrow in St. George

Todd Crandall turned from addiction to recovery to helping others do the same. He'll tackle the Ironman World Championship this weekend.
2 months ago
Amanda Dickson memory Orrin Hatch...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: My personal memory of our former senior Senator, Orrin Hatch

KSL NewsRadio host Amanda Dickson recalls a favorite memory, a phone call from Sen. Orrin Hatch asking about the health of her newborn son.
2 months ago
misinformation...
Amanda Dickson

Opinion: The common denominator driving misinformation is fear

The answer, says Amanda Dickson, is fear. She says we cannot let fear, in the guise of misinformation, lead us astray.
5 months ago
choking during competition...
Amanda Dickson

The psychology of choking during competition, or any high stress event

One researcher says that the most highly performing people in the world are most susceptible to choking under pressure, or during competition.
5 months ago
Amanda Dickson with Mitt Romney, days before the opening ceremony of the Salt Lake 2002 Winter Game...
Amanda Dickson

Remembering Salt Lake 2002 during the opening ceremony in Beijing

Amanda Dickson remembers the excitement and the hope of Salt Lake 2002, as we prepare for the Beijing 2022 opening ceremony.
5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Sen. Lee “inclined to support” Merrick Garland as AG