Utah legislators not qualified to interpret U.S. Constitution

Sheryl Allen, former state representative and member of the Constitutional Revision Commission, recently commented on the Legislature’s move, through SB44, to end the commission’s independence (“Election doesn’t make legislators constitutional scholars,” Opinion, June 7). We at the Alliance for a Better UTAH believe that SB44 is a strike against the principles of good government and good governance.

Alongside SB44, we find it particularly alarming that the Legislature also passed HB76, creating the Constitutional Defense Council and Federalism Subcommittee. The mission of this council and subcommittee is “to assist the governor and the Legislature to … evaluate the constitutionality of federal mandates and the advisability, feasibility, estimated cost, and likelihood of success of challenging federal court rulings that impact a power or right reserved to the state or its citizens by the United States Constitution or expands or grants a power to the United States government beyond the limited, enumerated powers granted by the United States Constitution.”

In what is perhaps a foreshadowing of future lost-cause court battles, the legislation is oddly specific in further providing that the council and…

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