Scott Matheson Jr.

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Scott Milne Matheson Jr. is a United States Circuit Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He was appointed to the court by U.S. president Barack Obama in March 2010. His nomination was confirmed on December 27, 2010.

Prior to his appointment, he was a faculty member at the S. J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah and held the Hugh B. Brown Presidential Endowed Chair.

Matheson was born Scott Milne Matheson III on July 15, 1953, in Salt Lake City, Utah. He earned an Artium Baccalaureus degree from Stanford University in 1975 and was honored with the Anna Laura Myers Prize for an outstanding undergraduate economics thesis. He was also a Rhodes scholar and holds a Master of Arts degree in modern history from Magdalen College, Oxford. He has a Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School (1980), where he served as a Note editor for the Yale Law Journal.

Matheson worked as an associate attorney at the litigation firm Williams & Connolly in Washington, DC, from 1981 to 1985. He then joined the faculty of the S. J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah and taught constitutional law, criminal law, and civil procedure. He was dean from 1998 to 2006.

He was also involved in law administration and law reform and served as vice chair of the Utah Constitutional Revision Committee, a chair of the Utah Supreme Court Advisory Committee on the Rules of Evidence, and a member of the Utah State Bar Commission. He established a Pro Bono Initiative at the S. J. Quinney College of Law and served on the board of trustees of the Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake.

During leaves of absence, Matheson served as the Deputy County Attorney for Salt Lake County (1988–1989), visiting professor in the Frank Stanton Chair on the First Amendment at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (1989–1990), and United States Attorney for the District of Utah (1993–1997). From 2006 to 2007 he was Public Policy Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC. From 2007 to 2008, he chaired the Utah Mine Safety Commission, which was formed to respond to the Crandall Canyon Mine disaster and to improve mine safety and disaster response in the state of Utah.

In 2004, he ran unsuccessfully for governor of the state of Utah. He is the author of Presidential Constitutionalism in Perilous Times.

Matheson’s father is the former Utah governor Scott Matheson Sr. His brother is former Utah State representative Jim Matheson. He and his wife, Robyn, have two children. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.