The Utah Legislature seems determined to make a mockery of the provision in the state Constitution that enshrines the right of the people to propose, adopt and repeal laws. And, so far, the Utah courts are helping.
A few days ago, a state judge rejected a plea from Utahns for Ethical Government that its petition to place a new state ethics regime before the voters be judged by the criteria that existed in state law when the petition was circulated and filed, not by the tougher rules the Legislature passed later.
A few days before that, former Congressman Merrill Cook, representing a group that had been trying to get an immigration control measure on the state ballot, stood before the Utah Supreme Court and made a similar argument. He, too, claims the Legislature has so tightened the rules for initiative and referendum petitions as to leave that constitutional safety valve stuck in the closed position.