This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
Military jets will fly over the Utah Capitol on Wednesday. The famed Mormon Tabernacle Choir will sing. And the pomp will conclude with a 19-gun salute as Gov. Gary Herbert and four other state constitutional officers will be ceremoniously inaugurated.
The real swearing in, the one that matters legally, took place Monday in private or significantly downplayed events.
Supreme Court Justice John Pearce performed the honors, beginning his day at the governor's mansion, where Herbert privately took the oath for what he says will be his final term in office.
Then Pearce, who is the husband of Salt Lake Tribune Editor Jennifer Napier-Pearce, traveled to the Capitol, where Attorney General Sean Reyes, Auditor John Dougall and Treasurer David Damschen promised to uphold the constitutions of Utah and the United States. No speeches, no music, just right hands in the air and a quick signature on a piece of paper.
Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox recited the oath Monday evening at his home in Fairview.
These rather perfunctory oaths are required by the state constitution, which says these elected officials must be sworn in on the first Monday in January. This year, that happens to be an observed state holiday, recognizing the new year.
While all five of these men won re-election and therefore have taken the oath before, this time it was a bit different.
In November, voters approved a constitutional amendment to tweak the wording. In past years, the statewide elected officials would swear "to support, obey and defend the Constitution of the United States and the constitution of this state."
The voter-approved change switches "this state" for "the state of Utah."