Thursday, September 26, 2013

Salt Lake Tribune: Attorneys: Count My Vote Proposal Passes Legal Muster

The signatures of fifteen past Utah Bar Presidents ain't a half-bad touch either

There's encouraging news for supporters of  Utah political nomination reform from the Salt Lake Tribune this morning, as Robert Gehrke reports that the folks of Count My Vote, who are hell-bent to replace the state’s current and decidedly undemocratic caucus/convention nomination process with a direct primary election procedure, have completed the next important procedural step in qualifying their Utah citizens initiative petition for general circulation, pursuant to Title 20A Chapter 7 Section 202, which provides that once an application for an initiative has been submitted, the Lieutenant Governor reviews the measure. The application will be rejected if the measures is "patently unconstitutional," "nonsensical," could not become law if passed, contains more than one subject, or does not clearly express the subject in its title.

Here are the key paragraphs from the Salt Lake Tribune:
Count My Vote organizers delivered a letter to the lieutenant governor’s office signed by 15 past presidents of the Utah State Bar, vouching for the constitutionality of the group’s proposed election reform.
The letter and an accompanying 21-page legal memo state that the Count My Vote proposal of replacing the current caucus-and-convention system parties use to pick nominees with direct primaries is clearly constitutional and would address a "compelling" interest — increasing voter participation.
"We believe the initiative would not impose any burden … on party associational rights because parties would remain free to endorse favored candidates, select nominees without state input, and determine which voters participate in their primary elections," the letter states.
Read the full article here:
And here's a PDF copy of the above-referenced letter for our WCF readers' own review:
Even upon casual reading it ought to be clear that this proposed citizens initiative petition does "pass legal muster;" and the signatures of 15 past Utah Bar Presidents ain't a half-bad touch either, wethinks.

What say you, O Gentle Ones?

Time to get this show on the road, don'tcha think?


    James Humphreys said...

    They did submit the legal brief as required. But it is about as valid as John Swallows saying the Utah House can't impeach him. They met the requirement. That does not mean by any stretch that it passes legal muster.

    blackrulon said...

    You would have applauded the decision of these same 15 past presidents of the Utah Bar Association if they had found the proposed ballot initiative did not past legal scrunity. But it always interesting to me that many constitutional law experts are reduced to making their arguments for or against a proposal on a message board. If the attorney general or another interested group or individual disagrees with the position taken by the past presidents of the Utah Bar the court system will make the final determation.

    Neil Hansen said...

    If these legal eagles had done there home work, the US supreme court has said that the State cannot tell the parties how to run their parties. Therefore when the parties had voted down the proposal to do away with the caucus system, that is what will stand in a court of law. They need to do their home work.

    blackrulon said...

    Obviously the 15 past presidents of the Utah Bar must be the "uninformed" people the caucus supporters are warning us about.

    James Humphreys said...

    That's funny coming from you since you derided how stupid the attorney were who wrote letters defending Swallow against impeachment.

    I do not care about their legal brief. it met the requirement to be completed. But other than that, it, like the swallow issue isn't worth the paper it is printed on. The court did not weigh in and the opinion, while from professionals, is not the only opinion out there.

    Danny said...

    All this is being driven by cronies and insiders connected with Bob Bennett. They lost their golden teat when he got kicked out. But it's not up to the public how the party chooses its candidates. It's up to the party itself.

    Speaking of which, when I was a state delegate I never got so many free dinners in so short a time in my life. It was a great time. After all, it is called a political "party."

    Let's not spoil the fun. Mike Lee is better than Bennett if only that he is somebody new. Beltway Bob needed to go.

    rudizink said...

    I can't wait to read the reply brief, from the Eagle Forum "legal professionals." ;-)

    James Humphreys said...

    There is one thing that leaves the parties vulnerable to intrusion. We do have a primary. Any primary means that the party has used government funds to narrow its' choices so there is room to argue for this initiative.

    The party could change it's rules to a threshold of 50% +1 and no allow a primary at all for our nominations and then it would safe and unchallengeable in court with no major issues. That would be a PR nightmare though for all of those people who vote Republican but refuse to participate in the party.

    NoMoMoronsPlease said...

    Most moderate Utah Republicans do not agree with you on this. Hey, what say you that we recruit Jon Huntsman to run against Mike Lee, in the next Utah Primary when "weirdo" Mike's senate office comes up for grabs?

    rudizink said...

    Oh C'mon, O My good friend James. The above-linked letter brief made mince-meat of any Utah GOP objections.

    Face it, James. The politically "creepy" Utah Caucus.convention nomination scheme is about to become "Toast."

    rudizink said...

    Exactly right, BlackRulon. When, if ever did any Swallow's legal briefs enjoy the endorsement of fifteen Past State Bar Presidents?

    blackrulon said...

    Thank you for sharing your opinion on the merit of the former bar associations legal brief. It must have some merit if it fulfilled a legal requirement. Again, the option is always available to use the court system to sort out the conflicting claims. Neither your or I are legal experts. But I, and many people, will give some vlaue to the opinion of the 15 former heads of the Utah Bar Association. Unless they are part of the "uninformed" that you disdain. You have stated that you do not like the initiative process. There is a process to remove the initiave option. There is also the option for those who disagree with the legal brief of the bar associations heads to submit their own legal brief arguing a differing opinion.

    rudizink said...

    Sorry, Neil. As much as I love you as a champion of the Ogden "underdog," you're entirely wrong in this opposition posture.

    rudizink said...

    Whoa! Check out who agrees with you Neil (and James). Paul Mero, Gayle Rudicka's Sutherland Institute "Stink Tank" gofer:
    The motives behind Count My Vote

    blackrulon said...

    You will have a very difficult time convincing the average Utah citizen that Mike Leavitt, Norma Matheson, Gail Miller and others are anarchists and boleshiviks intent on destroying voting choice in Utah politics. Given the choice if the inititaive passes I would prefer them in charge instead of the likes of Gayle Ruzicka, Paul Mero, and their cronies.

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