SLCo DA Sim Gill Opposes “Re-Education” Bill from Ivory

Sim Gill
Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill (Democrat)

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill told a group of supporters that he sees no reason why the state’s legal minds need to be “re-educated” with a tea party-backed bill mandating continuing education on states’ rights.

HB 120 – Continuing Education on Federalism, sponsored by Representative Ken Ivory (Republican – West Jordan) would require any attorney working for the state of Utah undergo refresher courses on the concept of Federalism.

Ivory contends that such legislation is needed so that Utah might pursue policies independent of what he calls the federal government’s continuing “overreach,” especially on the matter of public lands and the potential revenues these lands represent. An outspoken critic of the current administration in Washington, DC, Ivory is the chief sponsor of the bill which also requires inclusion of “the history and practical implementation of the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution” as part of the curriculum, and that the coursework be administered by the state’s “Commission on Federalism.”

The Tenth Amendment is known as the “States Rights” Amendment to the Constitution. The Amendment itself states that powers not given to the United States through the Constitution are to be held within the individual states within the Union. The Tea Party movement has advocated for a strict reading of the Amendment, feeling that, unless something is expressly written into the Constitution, the Federal Government is to have no jurisdiction in any particular matter.

In his candid and extemporaneous remarks, Gill said that HB 120 requires anybody who is “law-trained” and a government employee to take a class which he calls “re-education,” and which he contends is unwarranted. He feels that the entire states’ rights movement is misguided because the country is a nation united by all 50 states. Gill went on to emphasize that while he supports continuing education for lawyers, it is in the power of the judiciary and the Supreme Court, not the legislative branch, to dictate what should be considered proper training.

The text of HB 120 sets forth several requirements which pertain to those employees of the state and all political subdivisions “whose job description requires that the employee be a member of the Utah State Bar.” But Gill says that “I don’t need to fight with the federal government… When we [attorneys] have to defend the state, we defend the state, and when we have to defend our positions, we defend our positions, and I don’t need a lecture or an education to tell me what is right, what is constitutional and what is legal.”

Ivory’s bill caused a big stir earlier last week, after it was discovered that his re-education classes would apply not only to attorneys, but would also require judges themselves to attend. After a story about that came out in the Salt Lake Tribune, Ivory said on Twitter that he was amending the bill to exclude judges.

Representative Ivory is one of the most outspoken advocates for a takeover of Federal lands within the state. He has sponsored bills claiming that Utah should have control of Federal lands, so that the state could then sell or lease them for profit.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill’s full remarks are available here.

3 Replies to “SLCo DA Sim Gill Opposes “Re-Education” Bill from Ivory

  1. During the early, Progressive Period (circa 1900’s) it was decided that States Rights and many other structural aspects of the Constitution were outdated and must be eliminated. To this point the Bar Association exists.

    It is absolutely no shocker that attorneys trained to disdain democratic institutions refuse other ideas. For those who would defend Sam Gill’s views, you have long been warned about the risky road you’ve taken. This is now being manifest by a Progressive President who has gone so far as to open assail Congress, brag that he has a ‘pen and phone’ and will legislate via Executive Order. Who needs a Constitution or other such checks and balances when it gets in the way of enlightened Progressive views of social justice and income equality.

    Sam Gill is simply consistent with President Obama. This is the ultimate manifestation of “Progress” for those who espouse such views. Anything to the contrary must be mocked and destroyed.

  2. UPDATE:
    The UCDAA, the Utah County and District Attorney’s Association, representing ALL 29 of the counties sent a letter to the UtAH legislature on Monday collectively opposing Ivory’s measure, aka HB120

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