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Friday, September 08, 2006

Good Call

By Michael Waddoups
Utah State Senator, District 6

The Utah Supreme Court affirmed today, that the University of Utah and all other state agencies need to comply with state law, even laws with which they disagree. It was a good call.

From the Court's decision:
". . . the Attorney General maintains that the University has no power or autonomy under the constitution that would permit it to disregard state law. We agree with the Attorney General. Indeed, the University’s claim is unsupported by the text of our state’s constitution, its historical context, or the prior decisions of this court."
I believe that students and employees at the U of U will be safer because of this ruling, in that those who need to be able to carry legally will not be restricted. Although we don't advocate everyone in society carrying a weapon, those who have submitted to the BCI permitting process add to the security of our neighborhoods and our society.

Perhaps more importantly, this ruling sends a clear message to those who would circumvent the workshop by which our laws are crafted. Our Constitution sets up the democratic process whereby our people are governed and it does not include a state agency dreaming up their own laws.

I commend Mark Shurtleff, Ray Hintze, and Brent Burnett at the AG's office for arguing this case, and I appreciate Justice Parrish for enunciating the Court's opinion so well.

I commend the Utah Supreme Court for upholding the law.


Blogger I am the Great Cornholio said...

Amen! The university's position was mere posturing. How would they enforce the gun ban anyway? Anyone can walk across the campus with a concealed weapon and no one would know UNLESS that person were to use the gun. If the person were to use the gun illegally (i.e. murder someone), then that person would be tried and convicted of murdering someone.

9/08/2006 6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So does this mean one carry carry a concealed weapon at the state capitol now?

9/09/2006 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Senator Waddoups said...

Actually citizens with permits have always been able to carry at the state capitol. This ruling is specific to Utah's institutions of higher learning.

9/09/2006 9:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, some of the same legislators who like this ruling will be back to calling the Supreme Court "judicial activists" when a ruling comes out that they don't like.

9/09/2006 11:15 AM  
Blogger The Senate Site said...


We all need to be awake to discern when labels and accusations are apt. Judicial activism is not about who loves or hates a decision. Inappropriate judicial activism occurs when a judge disregards the law in favor of his or her own preference - as if they were super legislators, elected to create law instead of just referee. It can happen. It does not appear to have happened in this case.

Coincidentally, the day before this Decision was announced, Senator Dave Thomas wrote a lengthy blog that addresses judicial activism. He will probably post it on Monday.

9/09/2006 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This decision is really a no-brainer. The university is merely an extension of the State, not an independent sovereign. It is long past time for the State to begin exercising their constitutionally mandated oversight of all political subdivisions, including special service districts. I believe the AG is currently arguing a case in District Court with similar issues.

9/11/2006 12:28 PM  

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