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2010 Utah Legislative Report

12 May 2010 Published in Legislative Reports

2010 Utah Legislative Report

The efforts of our legislators during the 2010 Legislative Session garnered national attention as Utah legislators launched an all out attack on a range of issues, from reproductive freedom to equal opportunity programs in schools and state employment practices. As such, the ACLU of Utah was busier than usual at the Capitol during the 2010 legislative session as we worked to fend off dangerous legislation and promote passage of bills to protect the constitutional rights of Utahns.


During the 2010 session the ACLU of Utah:

  • Was responsible for getting 2 important pieces of legislation passed: a voter challenge bill, drafted by the ACLU of Utah, and a bill to opt out of the federal Real ID Act.
  • Was instrumental in halting or neutralizing harmful legislation on at least 7 occasions.
  • Tracked and engaged in lobbying efforts on more than 30 bills.
  • Responded to numerous requests by lawmakers, government officials, community partners and the media for information as to the constitutionality of bills.
  • Attended at least 20 committee hearings.
  • Testified against or in support of 8 bills.
  • Distributed at least 10 letters, fact sheets and/or reports to members of the Utah Legislature regarding the constitutionality of proposed legislation, including 5 letters to the governor urging veto or signature.
  • Participated in ongoing meetings with and mobilized coalition groups to influence potential legislation in the following areas: immigration, criminal justice, racial justice, reproductive freedoms and voting rights.
  • Hosted a citizen lobby training for members/supporters regarding the bills the ACLU was tracking.

Participatory Democracy | Reproductive Freedoms | LGBT & AIDS
Immigrants' Rights
| Racial Justice | Privacy & Technology / 4th Amendment | 1st Amendment
8th Amendment | Separation of Powers

Participatory Democracy

ACLU Bill Strengthening Integrity of Elections Becomes Law

S.B. 53 "Voter Challenge Revisions," sponsored by Senator Peter Knudson, is a culmination of several years of work by the ACLU of Utah, Utah County Clerks, and other voting rights advocates. This effort began after the 2007 Ogden Mayoral election when existing election laws were misused, resulting in a large number of Ogden voters being wrongfully accused of being ineligible to vote. This year the bill passed the Utah Legislature unanimously, and was signed by Governor Herbert on March 23, 2010. The ACLU of Utah testified before committees in both the House and Senate in support of the bill, as well as sent the Governor a letter encouraging him to sign SB 53.

ACLU of Utah Action Alert on S.B. 53 sent on 2/3/10 >>

ACLU of Utah fact sheet on S.B. 53 >>

ACLU of Utah letter to the Governor supporting S.B. 53 (PDF) >>

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Signed into law on 3/23/10

Bill Would Have Encouraged Increased Voter Participation

H.B. 244 "Provisional Ballot Amendments for Unregistered Voters," sponsored by Rep. Chavez-Houck, would have enacted same day voter registration in Utah. The ACLU of Utah has long encouraged the implementation of a system whereby voters could register and cast a ballot on Election Day as a means to increase voter participation. Unfortunately this bill was never given a hearing; thus it failed. The question of increasing voter participation, including the value of same day registration has been scheduled for interim study; the ACLU of Utah will participate in that discussion with the hope of seeing this practice put into law.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Did not pass the House

Voter ID Proposal Would Have Protected Voting Rights of the Elderly

H.B. 79 "Valid Voter Identification Amendments," sponsored by Rep. Marie Poulson, would have amended the voter identification law passed during the 2009 legislative session, to expand the list of valid forms of ID for voting purposes to include Medicare cards. As supporters of the bill attested to, H.B. 79 would have made voting more accessible to older Utahns who do not otherwise have access to forms of ID listed as sufficient in existing law. Unfortunately, although the bill passed out of the House committee in which it was heard, it failed on the House floor. The ACLU of Utah testified in support of the bill during the House hearing.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Did not pass the House

New Law Makes it Easier to Update Voter Registration When Moving

H.B. 161 "Voter Registration Amendments," sponsored by Rep. Chavez-Houck, is one of the only issues tackled by the Governor’s Commission on Strengthening Democracy to actually become law. HB 161 codifies the practice of facilitating voter registration portability: the ability of a voter’s registration to be updated without re-registering when moving within the state. This bill passed both houses unanimously and was signed into law by the governor. The ACLU applauds this change in law that facilitates, rather than burdens, the right to vote.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Signed into law on 3/29/10

 

Bill Could Have Increased Voter Turnout

H.B. 368 "Election Day Voting Centers," sponsored by Rep. Chavez-Houck, would have established Election Day vote centers, which are non-precinct based locations for voting on Election Day. The sites are fewer in number than precinct-voting stations, centrally located to major population centers and rely on county-wide voter registration databases accessed by electronic voting machines.

The use of Election Day voting centers would increase voter turnout by reducing the cost and/or inconvenience associated with voting at traditional precinct locations. The ACLU of Utah is supportive of measures that seek to increase voter participation and involvement in the democratic process. This bill did not receive a hearing and therefore did not pass into law. We hope it will be discussed in conjunction with the legislature’s interim study of voter participation in Utah, and if so, will seek to participate in that conversation.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Did not pass the House

Law Improves Process for Voters to Present ID After Election

S.B. 18 "Election Modifications," sponsored by Sen. Knudson, purported to make various changes to the election code, including shortening the timeframe during which a voter can comply with the new state law requiring provision of photo ID to vote from 5 business days after an election to 5 days after an election. The ACLU was concerned that this modification would unduly burden Utah voters (even more so than they are already burdened thanks to the new voter ID law), particularly those who live in remote or rural parts of the state and for whom 5 days might not be sufficient to provide proof of identification. This concern was brought to the attention of legislators and the bill was amended accordingly and now allows voters to present satisfactory ID at any time up until the close of business on the Monday following the election.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Neutral as amended
Signed into law on 3/26/10

Reproductive Freedoms

Bill Sought to Establish Vital Curriculum Requirements in Sex Education

S.B. 54 "Health Education Amendments," sponsored by Sen. Urquhart, and would have amended the Utah law governing health education in public school to provide greater clarity to Utah educators. In particular, SB 54 would have allowed teachers to include a general discussion of contraceptives in health education. The bill would have also mandated the use of medically accurate information. Unfortunately, the bill did not survive its committee hearing; in fact the many members of the public who attended the hearing in order to be heard on the issue were denied that opportunity as the bill was never even discussed.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Did not pass the Senate

This short video explored S.B. 54, "Health Education Amendments," a bill that would have required discussion of contraception in sex education curriculum.

Amended Bill Passes, Radically Changing Utah's Abortion Law for the Worse

H.B. 12 "Criminal Homicide and Abortion Amendments," sponsored by Rep. Wimmer, generated more controversy than any other bill monitored by the ACLU during the 2010 session. HB 12 radically changes Utah’s abortion law by threatening to criminalize women for their behavior during pregnancy. Specifically, the bill results in the removal of immunity for women who seek to obtain or obtain an unlawful abortion, defined as any and all action that results in the death of a fetus that is not considered a medical procedure done under a physician's care. Practically speaking however, this bill would have changed the presumption that abortions obtained by a woman in this state are legal and would have put women in this state in the uncomfortable and unfortunate position of having to prove that the abortions they obtain (or miscarriages that they suffer) are not unlawful.

The ACLU of Utah worked with partners including Planned Parenthood and members of the legislature to halt, or at the least, amend this harmful legislation. We testified in multiple committee hearings, gave news media interviews and lobbied individual legislators, warning of the consequences of passing such legislation. While ultimately the governor chose to veto HB 12, he instead signed into law its substitute, HB 462, Criminal Homicide & Abortion Revisions, which is only marginally better than the original HB 12.

ACLU of Utah Action Alert sent on 1/25/10 >> ACLU of Utah Action Alert sent on 1/25/10 >>

ACLU of Utah 3/4/10 blog post: Utah, Don’t Turn Pregnant Women into Criminals >>

ACLU letter to the Governor requesting his veto of S.B. 12 (PDF) >>

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Passed the House and Senate. Governor Vetoed on 3/8/2010

Proposed Bill Would Have Limited Reproductive Freedom

H.B. 372 "Wrongful Death of Unborn Child," sponsored by Rep. Wimmer, was yet another attempt to limit the reproductive freedom of Utahns. This bill would have created a separate civil cause of action for a fetus in the event a pregnancy is terminated. HB 372 would have had dangerous consequences for women who lose choose to have an abortion or who miscarry during pregnancy. The ACLU worked against the bill with partners such as Planned Parenthood and individual legislators to convince the sponsor to abandon HB 372.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Did not pass the House

Bill Modifies Informed Consent for Women Seeking Abortions

H.B. 200 "Informed Consent Amendments," sponsored by Rep. Wimmer, purported to clean up current law defining informed consent for women seeking an abortion, including specifying that if an ultra-sound is performed the images must be must be broadcast for the woman to view if she chooses to. The ACLU took the position that this bill is superfluous because Utah already has some of the strongest informed consent laws in the country. Additionally, informed consent documents are already available online for anyone who wishes to obtain abortion services. The changes proposed in HB 200 would also add an additional fiscal responsibility for the Health Department at a time of sever budget cuts. Nevertheless, the bill passed and was signed by the governor.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Signed into law on 3/29/10



LGBT & AIDS

Bill Improves Upon Harmful Utah Supreme Court Decision

H.B. 74 "Adoption and Child Custody Amendments," sponsored by Rep. Allen,
Helps to ameliorate a harmful Utah Supreme Court decision on de facto parenthood. This bill would allow a non-relative with a relationship to a child to petition for custody. The ACLU of Utah was quietly supportive of this bill and was very pleased that it passed into law.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Signed into law on 3/26/10

Resolution to End Don't Ask Don't Tell Does Not Obtain Committee Hearing

H.J.R. 4 "Joint Resolution Urging an End to the U.S. Military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy," sponsored by Rep. Johnson, would have required the Utah legislature to denounce the U.S. military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy related to the military service of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. The ACLU of Utah would have supported this measure but due to political negotiation, this and other bills that would have affected (either positively or negatively) the LGBT community in Utah were not given hearings during the 2010 session. This bill therefore did not advance and was not signed into law.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Did not pass the House

Antidiscrimination Amendments Bill Slated for Study During Interim Session

H.B. 305 "Antidiscrimination Amendments," sponsored by Rep. Johnson, would have prohibited, on the state level, discrimination in the workplace and in housing on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The ACLU of Utah has long supported this effort, in the several years that it has been introduced in the state legislature; however as a bill that would have affected LGBT interests, this bill did not advance. It has however, been slated for study during the 2010 interim legislative session, and the ACLU of Utah will vociferously support its passage at that time.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Did not pass the House

Employment and Housing Discrimination to Receive Further Legislative Study

H.B. 128 "Antidiscrimination Study Related to Employment and Housing," sponsored by Rep. Johnson, would have required the state to study the question of whether LGBT individuals are subject to discrimination in Utah in the workplace and in obtaining housing. Although this bill was not ultimately heard because of the negotiated freeze on addressing LGBT issues during the session, the issue of LGBT discrimination nonetheless will be studied during the upcoming interim session.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Did not pass the House

Bill Would have Allowed Second Parent Adoption

H.B. 300 "Adoption Revisions," sponsored by Rep. Chavez-Houck, would have been the latest attempt to undue Utah’s harmful and mean-spirited restriction on adoption by LGBT individuals. HB 300 would have provided a mechanism for second parent adoption. The ACLU of Utah supports any attempt to remove harmful and unnecessary restrictions upon the right to become a parent. This bill did not advance due to the negotiated freeze on LGBT-related legislation.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Did not pass the House

Bill To Allow LGBT Partners to Sue for Wrongful Death Does Not Get Hearing

S.B. 146 "Wrongful Death Amendments," sponsored by Rep. McAdams, would have expanded the definition of "heirs" to include a wrongful death designee. If SB 146 had passed, individuals including members of the LGBT community would have been able to sue for the wrongful death of a partner, a benefit which married heterosexual couples enjoy in our state. Again, this bill did not move through the legislature this year because of the negotiated freeze on LGBT legislative issues.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Did not pass the Senate

ACLU Improves Definition to Protect Rights of Criminal Offenders With HIV

S.B. 155 "Enhanced Penalties for HIV Positive Offender Amendments," sponsored by Sen. Stevenson, was alarming in that it purported to impose enhanced penalties on an offender if he or she “should have known” of his or her HIV status. The ACLU worked with legislators and community partners to amend the language of the bill to require that the definition of “should have known” include that the perpetrator was tested for HIV and had access to the results. The amended bill passed the legislature and was signed into law.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Passed the House and Senate



Immigrants' Rights

Bill to Allow Easier Access to Health Care Dies Due to Budget Concerns

S.B. 44 Second Substitute "Health Amendments for Legal Immigrant Children," sponsored by Sen. Robles, would have removed the five-year waiting period for immigrant children with legal status to enroll in the state’s Medicaid and State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The ACLU of Utah belongs to the Enriching Utah Coalition, which heavily supported this bill, as a means to ensure that more children in our state have access to needed healthcare. Unfortunately, the bill did not pass due to budgetary concerns. This issue will however, be discussed this summer during the interim legislative session.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Did not pass the Senate

Law Mandates Use Of Flawed E-Verify Program

S.B. 251 Substitute "Verification of Employment Eligibility," sponsored by Sen. Buttars, expands the e-verify requirement for all public employers contained in the 2008 SB 81, to now cover private employers of 15 or more employees. In order to comply with the law, all Utah employers are now required to participate in the federal E-Verity system to verify their workers have legal immigration status. The ACLU of Utah testified against this bill during its committee hearing, as well as provided information to legislators and partners, pointing out that the e-Verfiy system is inherently flawed and that immigration regulation is the role of the federal government. Although the bill ultimately passed, it was substantially amended from its original state, which included among other things, criminal penalties for non-compliance. Additionally, because there are no real penalties for non-compliance in the version of SB 251 that passed, its requirements are, for all intents and purposes, voluntary. The ACLU is concerned however, that now that SB251 is in place, the legislature could amend the law to make participation more mandatory in the future.

ACLU of Utah letter to the Governor opposing S.B. 251 Substitute (PDF) >>

An extensive Department of Homeland Security Evaluation of the E-Verify Program (PDF) >>

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Signed into law on 3/31/10

Bill Would have Threatened Tuition for Some State Residents

H.B. 428 "Nonresident Tuition Amendments," sponsored by Rep. Greenwood, was a proposal to repeal Utah's program providing in-state tuition to undocumented college students. HB 428, failed, partly because it was projected to lose $1.5 million in tuition revenue for the state if many of the roughly 400 currently-enrolled undocumented students dropped out of college. The bill was introduced too late in the session to have any hearings; nevertheless the ACLU of Utah worked with the Enriching Utah Coalition and other partners to strategize ways to defeat the measure. Undoubtedly, this issue will reappear in future legislative sessions; we will be prepared to work against it when it next emerges.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Did not pass the House

Mandate for Municipalities to Engage in Immigration Policing Dies

H.B. 227 Substitute "Licensing Eligibility," sponsored by Rep. Sandstrom, would have required applicants for various licenses to provide the licensing authority with documentation of their lawful presence in the United States. Unfunded mandate upon municipalities to engage in immigration policing. The ACLU worked with the Enriching Utah Coalition to keep tabs on this bill, which fortunately did not make it out of the session.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Passed the House but did not pass the Senate

Resolution Urges Cooperation to Reduce Gang Activity

S.J.R. 2 " Joint Resolution on Combating and Reducing Gang Activity," sponsored by Sen. Robles, urges state and local governments to work together to combat and reduce gang activity. The ACLU of Utah became particularly concerned about this resolution when, during debate on the senate floor, an amendment was proposed to transform the resolution into a means to support “coordinated effort[s] between state and local law enforcement agencies and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to remove illegal alien gang members from Utah communities.” The ACLU of Utah continually reminds our legislators that immigration regulation is the domain of the federal government and efforts should be avoided that attempt to transfer this authority to state agencies. Luckily, the amendment was not adopted and so the resolution passed as originally drafted.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Neutral as amended
Passed the House and Senate



Racial Justice

Anti-Equal Opportunity Constitutional Amendment Considered by Utah Legislature

H.J.R. 24 " Joint Resolution on Equal Treatment by Government," sponsored by Rep. Oda, was introduced in the middle of the legislative session and was kept under wraps so that Utahns would not realize that an out-of-state attempt to ban affirmative action was in the works. Once it became apparent that Ward Connerly’s anti-affirmative action movement was before the Utah state legislature, the ACLU of Utah worked diligently with community partners to reach out to legislators and representatives at all levels of government to educate about what equal opportunity means and what consequences would befall Utah should it choose to ban affirmative action programs. Thanks to this intense lobbying effort and the stalwart dedication of some members of the legislature, this bill did not result in a vote. Unfortunately, the sponsor has indicated that this bill will reappear during the interim and 2011 legislative sessions. The ACLU of Utah will continue to fight against this harmful measure in the coming year.

ACLU of Utah fact sheet on H.J.R. 24 >>

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Did not pass the House

Proposal to Modify County Payment of Indigent Defense For Juveniles Passes

H.B. 115 "Counsel for Indigents in Juvenile Court Proceedings," sponsored by Rep. Powell, caught the ACLU of Utah’s attention because of our interest in the state’s obligation to provide for indigent defense. The bill in question sought to clarify that counties would only be responsible for paying indigents' attorney fees for original proceedings to which the state and/or the guardian ad litem is a party, and not for other ancillary proceedings and petitions. The ACLU of Utah was concerned about whether termination of parental rights situations would be characterized as ancillary (and thus not be covered) to the underlying proceeding. Once this issue was resolved in the committee hearing, the ACLU took a neutral position on the legislation.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Neutral as amended
Signed into law on 3/30/10



Privacy & Technology / 4th Amendment

ACLU Cheers Passage of Law Requiring Utah to Opt Out of National Real ID ACT

H.B. 234 Substitute "Opting Out of the Real ID ACT," sponsored by Rep. Sandstrom, was a rare opportunity for the ACLU of Utah to collaborate with a conservative legislator and unlikely community partners to proactively support legislation to protect the privacy interests of Utahns. The Real ID ACT was enacted by the federal government and among other things, would require U.S. citizens to start using a national ID card and provide sensitive documents to be stored in a database to be shared among the 50 states. The ACLU testified in multiple committee hearings, provided information and lobbied individual legislators to see this legislation enacted.

More information about Real ID >>

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Signed into law on 3/26/10

 

Law Challenges Basic 4th Amendment Rights

S.B. 277 "DNA Modifications," sponsored by Sen. Adams, was an effort to expand the state’s practice of collecting DNA samples from convicted criminals to those merely arrested of certain crimes. The ACLU of Utah objects to this growing practice in our nation, on grounds that it violates the 4th Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures and that it undermines the notion of innocent until proven guilty. Despite our testimony in various committee hearings and lobbying efforts, the bill passed the legislature, although not before being modified in several respects to be more favorable to arrestees subject to collection.

ACLU of Utah fact sheet on why we opposes the expansion of DNA databanks to include those merely charged with certain types of crimes >>

ACLU of Utah letter to the Governor urging his veto of S.B. 277 (PDF) >>

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Signed into law on 3/31/10

Law Enforcement Allowed to Seize Personal Information Without Warrant Under New Law

H.B. 150 Substitute "Administrative Subpoena Amendments," sponsored by Rep. Daw, sought to expand to a broader category of crimes the recently enacted law allowing for warrantless searches by law enforcement pursuant to investigation. The ACLU of Utah opposed this expansion of law enforcement power – made famous by abuses of the federal government’s National Security Letters – because it represents an incredibly dangerous threat to our civil liberties and creates perverse incentives for government to engage in fishing expeditions against individuals where there is no probable cause. Unfortunately, and despite lobbying efforts on the part of the ACLU (including distribution of letters and information to legislators) the bill passed in a slightly improved fashion.

ACLU of Utah letter to the entire Senate urging defeat of H.B. 150 (PDF) >>

ACLU of Utah letter to the Governor opposing H.B. 150 (PDF) >>

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Signed into law on 3/30/10



1st Amendment

Law Strengthens 1st Amendment Protections for Those Accused of Libel

H.B. 96 "Libel Amendments," sponsored by Rep. Fisher, requires that a libel judgment for damages meet certain standards before it can be enforced in Utah, notably that judgments obtained from courts, which do not apply the same protections regarding freedom of speech and press found in the United States and Utah Constitutions, are unenforceable in this state. The ACLU of Utah supports the idea that the operation of foreign laws should not be permitted to chill the exercise of constitutionally protected rights here in the U.S. This bill will help preserve the right of free speech by rendering foreign judgments unenforceable if the foreign lawsuits did not constitute defamation under United States law.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Signed into law on 3/23/10

 



8th Amendment

Bill Proposed Restricting Bail for Entire Category of Suspects

H.B. 375 "Bailable Offenses Act," sponsored by Rep. Ray, was widely reported in the media as an attempt to categorically restrict the ability of those accused of sex offenses to qualify for bail. The ACLU of Utah was deeply troubled by the idea that the 8th Amendment’s provision of bail would be restricted for an entire category of individuals merely charged (and not convicted) of an offense. Furthermore, based on media reports, the bill would have limited the ability of a judge to determine whether an individual was a flight risk. Luckily the bill never made it to a committee for a hearing. We will be watching for this legislation to surface during the interim and 2011 Legislative sessions/

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Did not pass the House

 



Separation of Powers

Bill Violating Integrity and Independence of Utah's Judiciary Fails

S.B. 108 "Judicial Nominating Commission Staff Amendments," sponsored by Sen. Jenkins, was one of a series of bills targeting the independence of the Utah judiciary. S.B. 108 would have allowed for, among other things, the improper injection of politics into the judiciary by allowing the governor to appoint a member of his or her own staff to serve as "staff" to the commission that nominates the Supreme Court Chief Justice. This would allow the governor an inappropriate "insider" view of the nominations process, which is intended to be non-public, precisely so it can be free from political interference. The bill also sought to transfer rule-making authority from the judicial council to the executive branch. The ACLU of Utah actively opposed this legislation, sending out action alerts, as well as information to the entire Senate. While ultimately this bill did not pass out of the legislature, a similar bill sponsored in the House of Representatives (see H.B. 289, below) did pass both bodies and was signed into law by the governor.

ACLU of Utah fact sheet on S.B. 108 >>

ACLU of Utah letter to the Utah Senate opposing S.B. 108 (PDF) >>

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Passed the Senate but did not pass the House

Proposal to Allow Governor to Pick Chief Justice is Abandoned

S.B. 109 Substitute "Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court Appointment," also sponsored by Sen. Jenkins, sought to give to the governor the power to select the chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court. This bill threatened the separation of powers envisioned by the Utah constitutional framers, would have violated the integrity and independence of our judiciary and is otherwise wholly unnecessary. If the executive branch is allowed to choose the chief justice, then those justices wanting the appointment will almost certainly feel obliged, consciously or subconsciously, to decide cases in ways that will make her or him look like a more attractive candidate for whoever the governor may be. The ACLU of Utah testified against this dangerous piece of legislation and provided information to legislators and ACLU members. Thankfully, legislators recognized that this bill would have gone too far in violating the separation of powers among our branches of government, and so the bill did not advance to a final vote.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
Did not pass the Senate

Law Weakens Utah's Independent Judiciary

H.B. 289 Second Substitute "Judicial Nominating Commission Amendments," sponsored by Rep. Oda, largely mirrored the elements in S.B. 108 (see above) but was an attempt to move the legislation by having it originate in a different legislative body. The ACLU of Utah remained stalwart in our opposition to this attack on Utah’s independent judiciary, testifying in committee hearings, working with individual legislators and alerting ACLU members to take action. Unfortunately, the bill passed both houses of the legislature and was signed by the governor.

ACLU of Utah's Position Final Legislative Action
as amended
Signed into law on 3/23/10