January 24, 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SALT LAKE CITY—Today Sutherland Institute President and CEO Rick Larsen delivered the following statement:
Something significant occurred this week. With the referendum effort around tax reform culminating in an announcement that the new tax law will be repealed, there is reason to reflect.
Some will have concern when they consider the state of public confidence in legislative efforts. Others will find hope in the example of citizens being heard. Sutherland Institute sees both.
Sutherland’s information campaign was never about winners and losers – that would be both divisive and political. We are neither. We were and are interested in understanding and learning from the lessons the referendum effort has presented.
We take seriously the economic and fiscal realities driving the need for tax reform, as well as the impact tax reform will have on each and every Utah citizen today – and for years to come. We also take heart in the fact that citizens could organize so quickly and so effectively to protect those among us who could be at risk.
Recognizing constructive intent on all sides, and the application of a policy process for which we should all be grateful, Sutherland is committed to further study of principled tax reform. Our priority is, and will continue to be, public policy that empowers and respects Utah families and communities.
Even though the Supreme Court does not resolve a large proportion of the cases that are presented to it, the decisions it does issue reverberate to affect many other disputes through the principle of precedent. Its decisions on a handful of cases can, over time, expand and contract the rights of the entire nation.
For many voters, 2020 may have been their first experience with voting by mail. However, VBM in both the United States and Utah specifically is not new. In America, VBM has a history that spans centuries.
The judiciary branch is designed as a responsive, not proactive, branch of government. The court can’t tell Congress not to pass an unconstitutional law or tell the president not to issue a legally invalid order. It must wait until after those actions take effect and someone challenges them.