The Clinton administration is likely to nominate as a federal judge a Utah conservative whom environmentalists have compared to James Watt. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, is pushing the nomination of Ted Stewart, current chief of staff to Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt (R), and some administration officials believe Hatch will block other judicial candidates unless Stewart is given the job. Stewart once headed Utah’s Natural Resources Department and has been a harsh critic of Clinton’s land-use policies. Several national environmental groups have sent a letter to Clinton opposing the nomination and have pressed Vice Pres. Al Gore to take their side, but Gore has steered clear of the issue.

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