Rep. Bachmann Accuses Obama Of Trading Judicial Nomination For Health Care Support

March 04, 2010 11:56 am ET

During an appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live" last night, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) accused President Obama of trading judicial nominations for votes in favor of health care reform. Specifically, Bachmann suggested that Obama nominated Rep. Jim Matheson's (D-UT) brother to the U.S. Court of Appeals in order to win the congressman's support for reform.  However, Bachmann's allegation is undermined by the fact that prominent conservatives from Utah have praised the nomination.

Rep. Bachmann's Conspiracy Theory


Rep. Michele Bachmann:

Because today, the president offered a judgeship to the brother of a member of Congress. Tonight, the president has that same member of Congress at the White House, pressuring him to change his vote on health care. We need to have an -- an independent investigation into this matter, because we've seen the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase the union loophole. And now, the big question is, is the White House trading health care votes for judgeships? This is a pretty serious issue, Larry. ...If you offer a judgeship to a brother of a member of Congress and the same night you have that member at the White House, where the president's twisting his arm to ask that member of Congress to switch his vote on health care? [Bachmann comments via ThinkProgress, 3/3/10; emphasis added]

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) And Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) Praised The Nomination

Sen. Hatch: "I Approve Of That Nomination." As the Salt Lake Tribune reported, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) lauded Obama's nomination of Scott Matheson Jr. to the federal bench:

"I approve of that nomination. Scott is a very fine fellow," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican and former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "He is well equipped and I think very learned for that position."

Hatch said he would help shepherd Matheson through the Senate confirmation process.  [Salt Lake Tribune, 3/4/10]

Rep. Chaffetz: "Good Choice, Mr. President." Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) also praised Matheson's nomination:

"I'm very pleased that President Obama selected Scott to serve as a judge on the federal bench," Rep. Jason Chaffetz said. "His distinguished scholarship as an attorney and law school dean, and his devoted public service to Utah and to the United States, make him an excellent nominee. Good choice, Mr. President. Good choice." [, 3/3/10; emphasis added]

The Wonk Room has more.