U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby a seasoned attorney, war veteran

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  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 27, 2013 10:59 a.m.


    "...just as they are not now required to marry strangers who walk in off the street who happen to be heterosexual."

    I'm not talkng about strangers. I am talking about members of their wards who are gay by who want a civil ceremony. When my LDS wife and I were married, her and her family were very close to a Bishop whom they asked to perform the civil ceremony.

    You can't tell me there won't be similar situations -- a family in a Ward with a gay son who wants to marry his partner, and they call upon the good friend of theirs who is a Bishop to perform the civil ceremony? I guarantee you it will happen!

    If the Bishop in such a situation wants to perform the ceremony, will he be allowed to do so by the Church? If not, where are his "religious rights"?

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Dec. 26, 2013 5:14 p.m.

    It makes sense now, Shelby and Constitution that has little to do with finding faults here.

    Most people are just not aware what is going on, they are just doing what mainstream dictates them to do.

    When I read in the BM about the Jaredites and Mulekites, it came clear to me this is the issue. This new "equal rights" movement is not directed toward religion or marriage at first.
    The goal of evil forces is set to change language. We lose on language we lose on religion and marriage and anything that has to do with good values.

    The record keeping Nephites knew about this, preserving language is preserving society and law. Keep redefining everything until nothing is left over to hang on to. Smart evil plan.

    So the contention toward religion is just a cover up, weakening understanding by doubting meaningful words is the agenda. Woh, how to counterforce this ?

    So we are losing on education, on legal justifications and on political confusion.
    But then again, who knows what the Lord has in mind, next ?

  • And_im_a_mormon Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 25, 2013 3:44 p.m.

    Can someone explain to me why upholding the principles of the Constitution of the United States is now considered "liberal activism"? The 800 lb guerrilla in the room, is that the opposition to equal rights to individuals is almost totally a religious one. Most any other explanation is intellectually dishonest.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Dec. 25, 2013 1:09 a.m.

    In my 2 cents, the case rests with Shelby not with the Constitution.

    If I would thought of a plan to introduce to my boss, not sure he shall take it, I would tip on a special sudden day. If I knew it is gonna work 100 pro, I could tell him long before.
    So is that what you were doing, Shelby ? (If not Shelby, some else would have)

    Is that how this country will change, by fraud and whisper policy ?
    It was not that hard to figure Who, would give it a try.There is backup somewhere.

    Utahns will soon wake up and see how friendly deceptions can be.
    No harsh feelings here for anybody, just want to introduce another view about results coming by letting down our guards. Utahns might have to blame it on own shortcomings.

    But now Utah is not Olympics, its on the news again.
    How is this for the next public world Show ?
    Remember Nephi ? All is well, there is no sin, there is no devil. All is Well.

  • iPWNblAX Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 25, 2013 12:31 a.m.

    What is wrong with gay marriage? Opponents of Equality say gay marriage is not a traditional marriage. Ok, what about interracial marriage? That wasn't traditional either. Try to be consistent.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 24, 2013 9:14 p.m.

    @One old man you are saying slavery does not exist today? In the US slavery was only legal for less than 9 decades. As an institution existed before our country and many people here in colonial times lobbied to end it. Many countries ended it after we did and it still exists in many places.

    I wonder if judges overruling the majority could be comparable to apartheid in South Africa where a minority ruled for a long time. Judges overruled the will of the people on this and many other issues.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Dec. 24, 2013 7:16 p.m.

    Although your understanding of history in regards to JS and states rights is awesome, I do believe your conclusions about the similar conditions today is not. States'rights were considerably weakened after the civil war and became the seed bed for striking down a religious right later (polygamy). Ironies abound! states rights is not a static or dead edifice of our constitution. Those who feel their right to decide has been diminished by the federal government's power will turn to this provision as a way to restrain and limit which by and large has led to laws that will negatively affect family life and religious liberty, something any true blooded patriot will look forward to confronting with the same powers that are being used to limit them. Ps. Joseph smith would have been at minimum non-plussed, if not dumbfounded, by gay marriage. I hardly think he would have thought this as a positive development in human rights, let alone light and truth.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Dec. 24, 2013 5:17 p.m.

    @A Scientist -- Bishops will not be required by law to marry gay couples just as they are not now required to marry strangers who walk in off the street who happen to be heterosexual. Homosexual marriages are not going to be treated differently from heterosexual marriages (i.e. given special treatment).

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 24, 2013 12:34 p.m.


    "This is not a federal role, nor a government role,nor a civil right"

    The US Supreme Court (who I trust more than you) disagrees with you.

    Loving v. Virginia, 1967 "Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival...."

    You may not like it, and you might think gay people are second-class citizens, but you cannot force your majority will upon the minority in regards to civil rights.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 24, 2013 11:59 a.m.

    Saint George, UT

    The Civil War did not need to be fought to rid the country of the evils of slavery.


    You are right - sort of -
    It was fought over those who thought "STATES" rights, superceded and trumped Federal level rights and the United States Constitution.

    It's why pre-Civil-War Joseph Smith ran for President of the United States on a platform of stronger FEDERAL rights [see pre-Civil-War Pres. Martin Van Buren refering to Missouri State Gov. Lilburn Boggs and the State's "Extermination Order" against Mormons -- "Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you;"]

    History and the Prophet didn't agree with you that a State can supercede the National Constitution.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Dec. 24, 2013 11:33 a.m.

    It is nice to see some Republicans and Democrats see a little light here. States' Rights is not just a phrase; it's a living, breathing reality. This is not a federal role, nor a government role,nor a civil right! It is not hatred, bigotry, or America living up to its Constitutional heritage. It is a states' rights and it is about time that a few people began to realize that DOMA should never have been passed and that it is a state issue! The battle lines are just beginning to be formed and this is a great beginning point. The Civil War did not need to be fought to rid the country of the evils of slavery. Slavery would have ended if it had been allowed to die on the vine and 600,000 lives would have been spared! If Gay marriage is a good idea, it will die or live on its own merit, not because the federal government said it was good or bad! Wake up America to your Constitutional heritage and liberty!

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Dec. 24, 2013 11:11 a.m.

    higv -- the United States was the LAST country in the world to officially outlaw slavery. You need to go back and have a talk with your high school history teacher.

  • airnaut Everett, 00
    Dec. 24, 2013 11:03 a.m.

    Many of you whine about judges over-ruling popular votes...

    I remember a time not too long ago when GW Bush was selected, and not elected -- per judges and the Constitution.

    Which brings me to my next point,
    Just WHO is it that is trampling the Constitution?

    You really can't have it both ways...hypocrites.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Dec. 24, 2013 9:25 a.m.

    I have read on this site that many posters believe our U.S. constitution was created with the help of God. If you beleive that to be true, one probably belives that God truly works in mysterious ways that we may not always understand. In time you will discover what many of us already know. Our society and America became stronger last week.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 24, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    @Third Barker

    I guess voting trumps civil rights. I'm sure that what the founders intended.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 24, 2013 8:10 a.m.

    By time this get s to the Supreme Court Hillary will be appointing justices.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 24, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    I think the majority of the people in the US did not favor slavery or segregation and the US ended those things quicker than some other countries do.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 24, 2013 8:04 a.m.

    @red corvette Pontias Pilate was a true profile of courage too I guess.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 24, 2013 7:12 a.m.

    It is amazing how people in Utah forget their own history. Polygamy was a big part of this culture and even after the Manifesto,the Church continued to practice clandestine marriages well until the early 1900's. (My Great grandfather married multiple wives in 1911). It is just funny that was OK? As for majority rule, I'm glad that isn't what the framers of the constitution wanted. If that was the case so many laws would be passed against minority groups, such as Blacks, Native Americans, and yes even Mormons. Popular vote when it violates civil laws and rights must be overturned. These are the same arguments that we saw with the Civil rights movement, and women's rights. Early Mormons including my family were persecuted by so called majority votes.

  • Jason Williams Los Angeles, CA
    Dec. 24, 2013 7:02 a.m.

    Judge Shelby will go down in history as a courageous defender of equal rights. His decision will have a ripple effect in helping spread marriage equality across the entirety of the United States.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Dec. 24, 2013 7:01 a.m.

    Why vote? Voting is a waste of time thanks to this so called, "Judge".

  • LeslieDF Alameda, CA
    Dec. 24, 2013 6:58 a.m.

    The judge ruled. Some people do not like his decision. Presented with his qualifications and background, the Congress and people of Utah find nothing disagreeable.

    To keep asking "On what established precedent did he base this most recent decision?" means you have not read his opinion. It's readily available on the web, short and to the point. It's quite clear how and why his decision was made.

    To then say we should not have a legal system that relies on precedent is way off topic and, yet another excuse for "I do not agree with the judge's decision."

    There are judges all across our country deciding cases and giving their opinions each day. Some alone, others in panels. And there are ways for each decision to be reviewed, confirmed, modified, or overturned.

    When you then still disagree, are impatient, or want him removed, go the heart of these cases: What is the harm you have suffered? There have to be rational arguments for objections to a court decision.

    There are none in the criticisms here. "I do not like his decision" has no useful purpose for law, or government or progress in our society.

  • Mike in Sandy Sandy, UT
    Dec. 24, 2013 6:07 a.m.

    Welcome to painfully puritanical Utah...where equal rights apply to only about70% of the populace.
    Laws do not come from religion. So gripe all you want.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 24, 2013 4:31 a.m.

    Forget for a minute about whether or not same sex couples will ever be sealed in the Temple. The real challenge for the Church is the question of whether or not Bishops, who perform civil marriages all the time, will be required by law to perform same sex weddings, or will be prohibited by the Church leaders from performing such weddings (or risk being "defrocked")!

  • DavidNL Holladay, UT
    Dec. 24, 2013 12:03 a.m.

    It's curious how such big opinions grow out of so little understanding. To remedy that, try the following:

    First, review Judge Shelby's confirmation hearing -- don't rely only on the cherry picked quotes above. Then, pull up the Memorandum Decision and Order: Kitchen v Herbert with a copy of the Constitution near by. If you don't have a good grasp on the cases being cited, get up to speed -- you'll be glad you did. Next, try to forget everything you've been hearing on FOX. Finally, take pride that we have a constitution that is both very in tact and also moving ahead with the times -- just as the framers intended. You can accomplish the entire task within the time it takes to watch two episodes of Duck Dynasty. You'll be glad you did it!

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Dec. 23, 2013 11:56 p.m.

    Judge Shelby was nominated by the president, approved by the Senate, and is a duly constituted Federal magistrate. His qualifications (though excellent) are not the issue. He has the authority under our Constitution to nullify any law that violates Constitutional guarantees of equal protection and due process. He did so. It doesn't matter if every single voter in Utah approved Amendment 3; under our system, the Federal magistrate can strike it down. If you don't like that, then by all means change the Constitution. Until then, you have no standing to say Judge Shelby acted out of bounds.

  • ute alumni SLC, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 11:31 p.m.

    looks to me like he moves jobs about every three years. not that impressive to me. shelby is creating a great legacy for his children. activist and devious judges have a long history of creating downfalls of civilizations. shelby through his own "brilliance"is trying to do it in utah. hate to tell him that in the long run righteousness will prevail.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 11:12 p.m.

    Dear Judge Robert J. Shelby,

    Thank you, and God bless you. For choosing what is right, instead of what some claim is popular.

    May this holiday find you and your family well. Your wonderful wife happy, and your children content.

    You have made the lives of many Utahns a thing of beauty and grace.

    Best wishes, to you and yours.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 11:10 p.m.

    'So what is it that this judge suddenly miraculously found in the constitution that all the other judges in US history must of overlooked?'

    *'Judge's Prop. 8 ruling upheld' - By Lisa Leff - AP - Published by DSNews - 06/14/11

    '...ruling that struck down California's same-sex marriage ban…'

    *'Judge Rules Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Is Unconstitutional..' - ABC News - By Jake Tapper - 01/08/10

    *'Judge Ware Denies Motion To Vacate Decision Overturning Prop 8' - By Barry Deutsch - Family Scholars - 06/14/11

    *’Prop 8 declared UNCONSTITUTIONAL by 9th circuit court’ – by Michael De Groote – Deseret News – 02/07/12

    ‘"Proposition 8 served no purpose, and had no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gays and lesbians in California," the Ninth Circuit said in its ruling on appeal in the case of Perry v. Brown.'

    All other judges?

    Seems we have already chosen to forget the prop 8 rulings, doma rulings, and supreme court rulings.

    I will always take a judge to rule on law…

    instead of people who use religion, to dictate others. Claiming their belief is law.

    Often, as just proven, they can be misinformed. Or worse, willfully ignorant.

  • intervention slc, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 11:07 p.m.


    No doubt some maybe but they would be the same ones that believed women should not have the right to vote, that children were property and that slavery was acceptable. Luckily we have a rich history starting with the founding fathers of exaiming and challenging the assumptions on which we base our laws. There is a reason they built in a system for not only changing laws but for
    Amending the constitution when necessary, they knew their knowledge was imperfect and therefore so are our laws.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 10:46 p.m.

    So what is it that this judge suddenly miraculously found in the constitution that all the other judges in US history must of overlooked?

    Berger, Marshall, Brandeis, Warren, Scalia, Holmes, Brennan,....I guess these guys were all just stupid? Eh, activist judge Shelby?

    The state voted and one activist judge over-turned the will of the people......
    Not much to be proud of, really!

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 10:28 p.m.

    Nice biography, but his decision was still wrong. Very wrong, and contrary to centuries of precedents.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 10:08 p.m.

    Supreme court voted down doma and prop eight.

    You are raising a glass of eggnog to the marriages preformed the last four days.

  • mcdugall Murray, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 10:06 p.m.

    @cats I wouldn't be shocked if they would support the change. Outside of Fox News and other questionable news sources, the majority of founding fathers were not Christians. They consisted of atheists, masons, and believers in a deity. If you take a hard look at the constitution and Jeffersons papers, the founding fathers framed the constitution to separate state from religion.

  • Reflectere Utah, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 9:57 p.m.

    Judge Shelby needs to learn about the limits of authority placed upon the judicial branch. In the words of Justice Scalia - The courts have become power hungry. They are out of control.

  • Big Bubba Herriman, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 9:56 p.m.

    Robert, [raising a glass of eggnog] here is to hoping that the supreme court overturns your ruling.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 9:43 p.m.

    I have no doubt the founding fathers are spinning in their graves.

  • gee-en Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 8:36 p.m.

    100+ years of traditional marriage being the only legal marriage in the state of Utah.
    How's that for established legal precedent?
    Is 100+ years not enough for Judge Shelby?
    Or did he just "say anything they wanted to hear" to sneak past the Senate Judiciary Committee?

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    Dec. 23, 2013 8:23 p.m.

    "Once Law Schools moved from reaching decisions based on the Constitution to reaching decisions based on precedent, the very fabric of our society changed."

    Rick2009, the common law idea of precedent, or stare decisis, is necessary to understand the Constitution and the legal concepts it lays out such as due process, jury trials, and judicial power. Precedent is absolutely foundational to common law. This notion of precedent was well understood by the drafters of the Constitution, most of whom were lawyers who understood precedent and its role in common law they inherited from England. Removing precedent would require a complete rewrite of the Constitution in favor of a codified civil law like the constitutions of most other countries.

    Precedent isn't absolute, and functions more as guidepost than hard-and-fast rule. But law schools teach using precedent precisely because that's how the Constitution was set up, not because of some radical shift away from constitutional principles.

  • BYUalum South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 7:40 p.m.

    He has proved, in this decision alone, to be an activist judge over-riding the Utah Constitution and 2/3 vote of the mandate of the Utah citizens who voted for traditional marriage between a man and a woman. He may be qualified, but he threw the wild card and ignored the will of the people with absolute disregard!

  • Cougar11 Highland, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 7:30 p.m.

    Red Corvett: I don't think a judge needs courage he needs to follow the law. What you mean is he didn't follow the law he had the "courage" to override the Utah State Constitution by making his own law. This is not a single Federal Judges duty. The SCOTUS said in their recent ruling about the Federal DOM act that the states had the right to set their own laws on this matter. They could have ruled as this judge did and say the argument for traditional marriage was irrational but they didn't. Once again a single black robe goes past his duty to bring in his own bias. I think the man is qualified and that isn't the question, the question was did he overstep his bounds. The answer is clearly yes and then he upheld his own ruling. What a shock! This will be decided by SCOTUS. You don't overrule a state constitution by a single voice. Even if you agree with the ruling, you must understand and agree with my argument.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Dec. 23, 2013 7:08 p.m.

    "During the confirmation process, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, described Shelby as "pre-eminently qualified" and predicted he would be "an outstanding judge."

    Mr. Lee, your prediction have become to pass. Judge Shelby have earned a place in Utah and the U.S.A.

  • Rick2009 MESA, AZ
    Dec. 23, 2013 7:04 p.m.

    Once Law Schools moved from reaching decisions based on the Constitution to reaching decisions based on precedent, the very fabric of our society changed. Every little creepage from a case being based on constitutional principles to one based on precedent has moved us as a nation farther and farther away form what the founding fathers intended. Precedent law is dooming our country and allowing Judges to make laws. So much for checks and balances, even with judges what is correct principle.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 6:55 p.m.

    Judge Shelby said, "I believe it is the judge’s responsibility to reach decisions based exclusively on the application of established precedent to the specific facts presented.'' On what established precedent did he base this most recent decision? No other state in the Union nullified its same-sex laws without first going to trial as Shelby did.

    Wouldn't this be grounds for impeachment based on abuse of power? Our D.C. representatives in the House should begin impeachment proceedings against Judge Shelby.