Utah Policy/KSL Insider Survey: The Cost of Defending Amendment 3

We asked our Political Insiders and readers whether the estimated $2 million price tag for defending Amendment 3 in court was worth it. Read on for the results and their anonymous comments.

Selected anonymous comments:

“The taxpayers already fund an AG’s office, to redistribute public money to private lawyers is ridiculous. Especially since you are using that public money to fight to discriminate against a segment of the population that paid the taxes to fund it in the first place.”

“Utah should allow loving couples the liberty and freedom to marry and contribute to our great state! Let’s funnel this money into public education!”

“The guy from Idaho that they’re thinking of hiring was the one who drafted the amendment. Shouldn’t he work for free? Warranty Issue?”

“Judge Shelby’s ruling is unconstitutional for the very reason he claims the amendment is – judges DO NOT have the right to right to make laws nor define the meaning of words “marriage” has always meant between a man and a woman – the amendment only attempts to secure that meaning so that society cannot change it. This protects families, children, and society at large. But allowing a judge to override the will of the voters is WRONG, especially when the only way he can do it is to apply his definition of marriage – that it the only way possible that this can be called unconstitutional. WE NEED TO STOP JUDGES FROM CREATING LAWS FROM THE BENCH – IT’S ILLEGAL. If we really read the U.S. Constitution and understand it, this is very clear, and actions like Judge Shelly’s ruling defaces the Constitution and laws of this great country.”

“The overturning of DOMA made Shelby’s decision inevitable. Fighting it is a futile windmill tilt with a $2M (at least) price tag.”

“Horse is out of the barn on this one, they will however spend two million or more. Gotta send that message.”

“The money should not be used to fund hate and hurting so many people. It should be used to help the citizens of Utah.”

“School teachers in Utah have to spend their own money so students can get educated. Lawmakers elected amid pledges to fully fund education don’t, then spend millions defending unconstitutional morals-driven laws that do nothing good except attempt to expand government control. This is only the latest.”

“2/3rds of Utah voters seemed to believe this issue was important to them…sounds like a mandate.”

“Education, clean air, clean water and the list goes on. Failed symbolism is not worth cost of attorney fees.”

“Legislators have no moral ground to cut any budgets is they waste 2 million on this irrelevant case.”

“I might say no, it’s not worth it, because I don’t think the appeal will be successful. However, I want the state to fight against this judicial activism at its worst. The Supreme Court has decided that states have the right to define marriage, and that right has been violated. It’s worth fighting that.”

“The judge overstepped our state rights. The amendment passed with strong support. The people deserve to be defended.”

“This is a nation wide issue of whether states have sovereignty or not.”

“A complete waste of the taxpayers’ money. How can anyone defend spending money to discriminate and keep people from getting their Constitutional rights?!”

“It’s ridiculous to spend money we can’t afford on a losing battle. Utahns have so many real needs. If we can blow $2 million…and more, we can up our expenditures in education, take the Medicaid Expansion and begin projects that will create more and better jobs.”

“Burning the money would be smarter.”

“We always complain about not having enough to help in education or other places so why are we spending it here?”

“You have to defend a constitutional amendment passed overwhelmingly by the electorate.””I would much rather my tax dollars be spent on something that actually directly affects my family, such as education. My wife is a teacher and $2 million spent on infrastructure would mean to her and her school. For heavens sake, we are paying out of our own family’s pocket for stuff like school supplies.”

“This is a losing battle. The only upside to spending the money to take this to the Supreme Court is that when we lose, Utah will have the distinction of having brought the case that, once and for all, ended the discrimination against same sex couples across the United States. Final headline: Utah suit results in same-sex marriage in all 50 states.”

“Bigotry is pretty expensive. I’ve always wondered why the haters love spending so much money on it? Keeping in mind, it’s the same people who protested the Swallow investigation. I find correlation.”

“Others have given their lives defending the constitution and the rule of democracy. Certainly the state can spend a relatively small amount of money doing the same in this instance.”

“We could reduce class sizes in Utah for one year by at least 0.01% with that kind of money.”

“Gay marriage is here to stay. It’s a waste of money. If the State wants to continue this fight, they should find a way to legally take the Sutherland Institute up on their offer to pay.”