Dear Champions of Democracy,
The time has come so quickly for Move to Amend Salt Lake to make a stand... in front of the Utah Supreme Court! We'd love to have you join us; despite the subject line, we're not actually going to "roar" but our legal arguments will be so powerful the voices of all democratic citizens will reverberate in that court chamber.
Thursday, July 26
(between 400 and 500 South on State Street -- here's more info on bus routes and parking)
Some people are still a bit confused about how we ended up in court. We've explained it the long way (here and here)--which left some people still confused. So let's try a really short version.
We met with Salt Lake City officialls beginning in 2011 to discuss our ballot initiative. The City Attorney approved of our initiative lagunage--a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to say that corproations are not people and money is not speech. We gathered over 11,000 signatures in support of the ballot initiative--we projected victory, and we celebrated. Our signatures were validated and declared sufficient by the county--we celebrated again. Then Salt Lake City came back to us and said, "Oh, uh, oops. Sorry about this, but it turns out that citizens initiatives can not be resolutions, or just collective statements. Citizens initiatives have to create an actual law or else they are illegal." We had already extensively researched the state code about ballot initiatives and felt confident we were legal, but it wasn't regular ole' law but "case law" the city was citing. Utah Supreme Court case law is thick, dense, obscure, largely inaccessible--but when we saw the city's legal explanation citing Supreme Court precedent, we had to weep. ARGH--75-year-old precedent is getting in our way!? We got angry; we were incredulous. Then we realized--wait, the Supreme Court about 75 years ago said that citizens--despite their Constitutional right to ballot initiatives--can not put resolutions on ballots because it'll just become too cumbersome with so many resolutions to vote on--as if people would go crazy with resolutions! But that was 75 years ago--the world has changed! I mean, we use computers to vote now! It's a very different world, it's a new dawn for direct democracy and the Supreme Court will have to hear our voices.
Our argument before the Supreme Court will be provided by Caleb Proulx; we don't know when a decision will come. Caleb is a member of the Move to Amend Salt Lake organizing collective and is a law student at the University of Utah. He spent a lot of time on our signature campaign and now also on our legal campaign. He's eloquent and brilliant and we have our best chance of winning with him as our advocate.
But that's not all!
There may be a crowd of politically-minded activists across the street from the courthouse, gathered to protest the American Legislative Exchange Council (more on that here). We'd love it if you could join us after court and tell the people in the park about our campaign, about our court case, about our plan to restore democracy.
Stick with us cuz' we're sticking with democracy,
Move to Amend Salt Lake Organizing Collective