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Utah Supreme Court Nominee Gets Glowing Reviews From Senate

Governor's Office
Paige Petersen, who was nomiated to fill a vacancy in Utah's supreme court, currenty serves in the third disctrict court.

Gov. Gary Herbert’s pick to fill a vacancy on Utah’s Supreme Court, Paige Petersen, was unanimously approved by the Judicial Confirmation Committee on Monday.

State lawmakers on the committee had high praise for Peterson.

“Occasionally, from time to time, I have disagreements with the governor, but I have no fault with his selection of judges," said state senator Jim Dabakis, a Democrat.

Dabakis said Utah has a good track record for judicial selections – a theme echoed by other lawmakers on the committee. 

Petersen said she was impressed that during this process she hasn’t been asked about her political leanings.

“Our legitimacy is our neutrality," she said. "If we don’t have that people lose confidence in the courts."

Petersen has been chosen to replace Justice Christine Durham – the only female justice on Utah’s Supreme Court - who is planning to retire this week. Peterson’s confirmation will next go to the full Senate for a vote later this week.  

Lee Hale began listening to KUER while he was teaching English at a Middle School in West Jordan (his one hour commute made for plenty of listening time). Inspired by what he heard he applied for the Kroc Fellowship at NPR headquarters in DC and to his surprise, he got it. Since then he has reported on topics ranging from TSA PreCheck to micro apartments in overcrowded cities to the various ways zoo animals stay cool in the summer heat. But, his primary focus has always been education and he returns to Utah to cover the same schools he was teaching in not long ago. Lee is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is also fascinated with the way religion intersects with the culture and communities of the Beehive State. He hopes to tell stories that accurately reflect the beliefs that Utahns hold dear.
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