Brian Bolduc looks at the newly-codified "Utah Sound Money Act," which recognizes gold and silver as legal tender in the Beehive State and which some observers see as a warning shot to the Fed.
The Constitution forbids states to coin money. In Article I, Section 10, however, it reads, "No state shall ... make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts." Jeff Bell, policy director of American Principles in Action, argues that this passage authorizes states to recognize gold and silver as legal tender.
Colorado was the last state to do so, in 1893. But Utah, taking "a precaution against further deterioration in the dollar," has revived the endeavor, Bell says.
In March, Gov. Gary Herbert (R.) signed into law the “Utah Sound Money Act.” Drafted by attorney Larry Hilton, the statute declares gold and silver legal tender in the Beehive State, makes trading in these metals strictly voluntary (i.e., the state can’t force anyone to accept payment in them), and eliminates state capital-gains taxes on gold and silver coins used as currency. Now, Iowa and South Carolina are considering similar legislation.