[This was emailed to me and other Utahns by Senator Orrin Hatch. It came out on January 27, but I post it here to give a sense of this politically powerful individual's sense of priorities. He's been a Senator since 1974, after moving here from Pennsylvania. He speaks well enough for himself, and this one is fully in line with the rest of his output over the years. I could do an article or even book on the bacon this boy brings home, which is how he has stayed in office. His election was pre-determined, based on my observations and others who ran against him last term. Bringing home the bacon is of course politically important, even good, but I wish it weren't always rancid. I cite the NSA, parked a short drive from my home, as an example of the kind of thing you're paying for, assuming you're lucky enough to have a job, so you might give thanks to Senator Hatch.]
On Thursday, President Trump asked me to meet with him in the Oval Office. In our wide-ranging discussion, I was able to engage the President on two issues of critical importance to Utah: Bears Ears and the Supreme Court.
On Bears Ears, the President listened intently as I relayed the fears and frustrations of thousands in our state who have been personally hurt by the Obama administration's lame-duck, last-minute monument designation. I explained the urgency of repealing this devastating measure, and I asked for his help in doing so. By locking away over one million acres of public land, this decision is a gut-punch to the Utah families who depend on this region and its resources for their very survival. I was encouraged that--unlike his predecessor--President Trump actually took the time to listen and understand the heavy toll of this overreaching action. Our President even assured me that he stands ready to work with us to fix this disaster.
Later in our conversation, President Trump solicited my advice on the Supreme Court vacancy. As the senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have devoted the greater part of my life to preserving the integrity and independence of our nation's courts. That's why I was eager to share my thoughts with President Trump regarding the strengths of various potential Supreme Court nominees. I was especially grateful that he would hear my perspective on the current shortlist of candidates. Once the President announces his nomination, I intend to play a leading role in confirming a justice who upholds the Constitution and our laws.
I am working hard to ensure that our new President respects our values and stands with our interests. Utahns should take heart at the progress we have made. In the months ahead, I look forward to working closely with President Trump to effect meaningful change for all Americans.