What You Need to Know About Utah Politics Today – December 23, 2013

Utah’s same sex marriage ban struck down. More Swallow revelations.


  • 35 days until the start of the 2014 Legislature
  • 183 days until Utah’s 2014 primary elections
  • 316 days to the 2014 midterm elections
  • 680 days to the 2015 elections
  • 743 days until the 2016 Iowa Caucuses
  • 1051 days to the 2016 presidential election

Today’s Utah news highlights:

  • A federal judge creates legal chaos by ruling Utah’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional [Tribune].
  • In the wake of the ruling, hundreds of same-sex couples descend on the Salt Lake County Clerk’s office to get marriage licenses [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Here’s a profile of Judge Robert J. Shelby whose ruling made same-sex marriage legal in Utah [Tribune].
  • Dueling editorials about the ruling: The Salt Lake Tribune hails the decision while the Deseret News calls the ruling “judicial tyranny.”
  • Utah was denied a stay in the judges ruling over the weekend, but will try again on Monday morning [Talking Points MemoTribune].
  • The Weber County Clerk’s office announced they would issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Saturday but had to scrap that plan due to logistical concerns [Tribune].
  • More revelations from the John Swallow probe show a number of political donations he took may have broken state law [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Some lawmakers want the House investigation into Swallow to continue after learning about the latest batch of shocking findings [Tribune].
  • Rep. Paul Ray proposes a bill to put sheriffs in charge of countywide emergencies [Tribune].
  • Ray says he’s considering a run for Davis County Commission in 2014 [Standard-Examiner].
  • Utah Republican leaders decide they won’t bid to host the 2016 Republican National Convention [Deseret News].
  • Will Jim Matheson leave politics, or is a run for a statewide office in his political future [Utah Policy, Tribune].
  • Matheson was holding fundraisers just days before his announcement he would not run for re-election in 2014 [Tribune].
  • Rep. Becky Edwards meets with officials for a North Salt Lake medical waste incinerator hoping to come up with a solution for the facility and its neighbors [Standard-Examiner].
  • Utah officials hope to build on increased attendance at state parks that resulted from the 16-day government shutdown [KSL].
  • A Riverdale candidate who was disqualified after winning a seat on the city council for failing to file a campaign finance disclosure has filed suit challenging the decision [Standard-Examiner].

On this day in history:

  • George Washington resigned as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army in 1783
  • Maryland voted to cede a 100-square-mile area to create Washington, D.C. in 1788
  • The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” was first published in 1823
  • President Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the Federal Reserve System in 1913
  • The government announced the first suspected (later confirmed) case of mad cow disease in the United States in 2003