How to Sound Smart About Utah Politics – June 26, 2014

A federal appeals court strikes down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban. Herbert running for another term in 2016. Voter turnout for Tuesday’s primary was dismal.



  • 131 days until the 2014 midterm elections
  • 214 days to the opening day of the 2015 legislature
  • 495 days until the 2015 elections
  • 571 days to the 2016 Iowa Caucuses (tentative)
  • 866 days until the 2016 presidential election

Thursday’s top news stories:

  • A federal appeals court rules Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional [Utah Policy, Tribune, Deseret News, City Weekly].
  • Gov. Gary Herbert says the state should appeal the ruling on Utah’s same-sex marriage ban all the way to the Supreme Court [Deseret News].
  • Herbert tells a group of political supporters he is planning to run for another term in 2016 [Tribune].
  • Voter turnout for Tuesday’s primary was just 7% in Utah County [Daily Herald].
  • Democratic Attorney General candidate Charles Stormont says more needs to be done to improve morale in that office [Tribune, Deseret News].
  • Salt Lake County officials come up with a plan to cover some Medicaid programs, but it won’t last very long unless the Legislature acts on Medicaid expansion [Tribune].
  • Census numbers say minorities make up 20% of Utah’s population [Tribune].
  • Drought conditions prompt a federal disaster declaration for every county in Utah [Tribune].
  • The Utah Transit Authority is named one of the best transit systems in America [Tribune, Deseret News].

On this day in history:

  • 1894 – The American Railway Union, led by Eugene Debs, called a general strike in sympathy with Pullman workers.
  • 1917 – The first American troops arrived in France during World War I.
  • 1919 – The New York Daily News was first published.
  • 1945 – The United Nations charter was signed by 50 countries in San Francisco.
  • 1950 – President Harry S. Truman authorized the Air Force and Navy to enter the Korean conflict.
  • 1963 – President John F. Kennedy delivered his famous speech in West Berlin where he declared “Ich bin ein Berliner.”
  • 1973 – Former White House counsel John Dean told the Senate Watergate Committee about an “enemies list” kept by the Nixon White House.
  • 1990 – President George. H.W. Bush went back on his “no new taxes” campaign pledge, conceding that tax increases would have to be part of any deficit-reduction package.
  • 2003 – The Supreme Court struck down state bans on sodomy.
  • 2003 – Strom Thurmond, the second longest-serving senator in U.S. history, died at the age of 100.
  • 2008 – The Supreme Court struck down a handgun ban in the District of Columbia.

Today’s World Cup schedule:

  • United States vs. Germany (10:00 am, ESPN)
  • Portugal vs. Ghana (10:00 am, ESPN2)
  • South Korea vs. Belgium (2:00 pm, ESPN)
  • Algeria vs. Russia (2:00 pm, ESPN2)