ASUA Supreme Court Justice nominees withdrawn

By Melissa Prentice

Arizona Daily Wildcat

ASUA President T.J. Trujillo withdrew his nomination of two Supreme Court Justices after inviting them to Wednesday's Undergraduate Senate meeting.

Trujillo said his decision to withdraw the nominations of second-year law students Anne Kyl and Patricia Lewis was not based on their merit, and said several times "I think they are the most qualified applicants."

The decision was made after Central Coordinating Council members postponed voting on Trujillo's appointments because members questioned if the positions had been properly advertised. Trujillo had appointed Mike Harter for Elections Commissioner and Jason Riggs for ASPIRE director.

Rebecca Butler was approved as media relations director before discussion started about the issue of proper notification.

"Because of CCC's decision, I will not nominate anyone until the Supreme Court has clarified the issue of proper notification," Trujillo said. He asked the Senate to postpone the vote on the nominations "to be consistent with CCC's decision."

However, Sen. David Bizak said the council's decision about the other appointments did not apply to this situation. The pool of applicants for the Supreme Court positions is limited to law students and the position was advertised sufficiently at the law school, he said.

Lewis said she agrees that the position was sufficiently advertised at the law school, since she saw notices on many of the main bulletin boards where law students look for information.

Trujillo also said if the Supreme Court appointments were approved they would have a conflict of interest when they were asked to make a decision regarding proper notification.

Senate members voted 5-0 against Trujillo's request to postpone the vote.

While Trujillo maintained the nominations had not been officially submitted and the Senate could not vote on the issue, Senate Chairman Brad Milligan said Trujillo had officially submitted the appointments.

Trujillo had asked "for several weeks" that the Senate vote on the nominees, Milligan said.

"I have never seen so much political posturing," said Sen. Ethan Orr. "This is what wastes ASUA time and money."

During the meeting, Trujillo made several attempts to filibuster.

"I was filibustering to show the Senate that they were wasting time focusing on minute issues," Trujillo said.

Sen. Jennifer Haber, who voted against the appointments, said she agrees that the Senators were wasting time discussing the issue.

"Even if we approve the justices, it means absolutely nothing," she said. "T.J. won't submit the nominations to the GPSC (the Graduate and Professional Student Council)".

The Senate voted 2-2, with one member abstaining, to approve the nominees. Milligan then cast the deciding vote in favor of the nominees.

Trujillo said he does not plan to submit the appointments to the GPSC.

Both the GPSC and the Senate must approve Supreme Court justices and other major appointments. The CCC must approve other minor appointments.

In other business, the Senate voted 5-0 in favor of Vice President of Clubs and Organizations Josh Becker's appointment of David Cesar to the Appropriations Board. Mike Brown, a third-year law student who served on the ASUA Supreme Court last year, was also unanimously approved as the court's chief justice.

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