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One hundred years ago this month, George Sutherland began his service on the U.S. Supreme Court, where he served for 16 years. The only Utahn ever to serve on the court, Sutherland left an indelible mark on Utah and the nation with his firm defense of the U.S. Constitution and his commitment to principle. 

It is this steadfast commitment throughout his life, and his reputation as a man of character, that led the founders of Sutherland Institute to choose George Sutherland as our organization’s namesake. 

During the month of October, we are partnering with Zions Bank to commemorate the life and legacy of George Sutherland. Utahns will hear a series of short stories on KSL Radio that highlight different aspects of Sutherland’s life and public service. In addition, this page will feature a new collection of blogs, essays and multimedia content profiling this important historical figure.  

From his early life in Utah overcoming poverty and getting an education, to his service in the Utah Senate, U.S. House and U.S. Senate, to his legacy of principled decisions on the Supreme Court, Sutherland’s life exemplifies the Utah spirit of hard work and commitment to principle – and the American ideals enshrined in our Constitution. 

Join us and Zions Bank throughout October in commemorating the notable impact of George Sutherland and the principles he stood for. 

Special thanks to the contribution and partnership of

 

Blogs and Essays

Newly elected conservative policymakers can learn from George Sutherland’s political philosophy

In George Sutherland’s view, the Constitution established bright lines of federalism and was the most democratic instrument of American governance. Because of the clarity and power of his views, much of his thinking remains relevant today.

He graduated from BYU. Then he battled FDR’s New Deal on the bench — 100 years later, his legacy still matters

The life of George Sutherland illustrates how character and kindness among Americans and their leaders can lead to political achievements that improve our civic well-being.

5 consequential Supreme Court decisions written by George Sutherland

The justice’s notable opinions covered women’s rights, racial equality, presidential authority, local zoning laws, and freedom of the press.

George Sutherland’s defense of American democracy

George Sutherland’s public service endured attacks on the Constitution, representative government, and the independence of the Supreme Court on which he served.

George Sutherland’s judicial confirmation

Though not even inside the nation’s borders, Sutherland had been both nominated and confirmed to the United States Supreme Court – both occurring on the very same day.

“Living voice of the Constitution”: George Sutherland as an elected official

Many politicians have had longer careers as elected officials than George Sutherland. But fewer have produced in just 18 years of elected service the weight and breadth of accomplishments as Sutherland.

On a trajectory for civic achievement: George Sutherland’s formative years

Sutherland’s youth and formative years would have a distinct influence upon his life – putting him on a path to great civic accomplishments.

Utah’s only Supreme Court justice can help us with SCOTUS legitimacy

Serving 16 years, Sutherland was on the court when it faced a significant test of its independence. Then, as today, its legitimacy was publicly called into question. The lessons of Sutherland’s experience still apply today.

Celebrating the accomplishments of Rosamond Lee Sutherland

Through her many accomplishments as a woman, Rosamond Lee Sutherland left an indelible mark on her family, social relations and her nation.

Utah’s George Sutherland played key role in U.S. women’s rights

The senator and Supreme Court justice from Utah pushed to amend Constitution to extend women’s suffrage nationwide in early 20th century and ruled in favor of legal equality.

Governor’s Declaration

On the radio

George Sutherland's Support for Women's Rights

by Sutherland Institute

The Influence of Rosamond Lee Sutherland

by Sutherland Institute

George Sutherland’s formative years

by Sutherland Institute

George Sutherland as an elected official

by Sutherland Institute

George Sutherland’s judicial confirmation

by Sutherland Institute

George Sutherland on court packing

by Sutherland Institute

George Sutherland's judicial philosophy

by Sutherland Institute

George Sutherland's impact on the presidency

by Sutherland Institute

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