Rocky Anderson threatens lawsuit over Prop. 2 compromise

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  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 19, 2018 8:56 a.m.

    @1Observer - Cottonwood Heights, UT

    The influence comes from personally held beliefs of elected officials, not lobbying by any church on issues.

    Then why the need for Marty Stephens?

  • Edmunds Tucker St. George, UT
    Nov. 17, 2018 3:06 p.m.

    DEA Schedule One Controlled Subtance Act, illegal to possesse, distribute, or sell marijuana in the United States. The Obama administration AG Holder gave a green light in 2009 by instructing the US Attorneys to not enforce the law, so 2 dozen states approved it. The FDA's 2015 report states there is no medical use for this narcotic. Look up '2015 Department of Health & Human Services letter to The Honorable Chuck Rosenberg Acting Administrator Drug Enforcement Administration U.S. Department of Justice concerning a request to change the Schedule One Controlled Substance Act status of marijuana' on the internet.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 17, 2018 1:11 p.m.

    I wonder if Anderson would have sued M. L. King for "violating the seperation of Church and state" as a religious leader advocating for the Civil Rights Law. For that matter, would he have sued Hugh B. Brown for doing the same thing and putting the full weight of the First Prresidency behind the passage of the Civil Rights Law?

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 17, 2018 1:09 p.m.

    The rules banning Churches from endorsing candidates are a clear violation of free speech. Beyond that, they are clearly violated by many groups, most notably many predominantly African-American Churches that regularly implicitly endorse candidates.

    That said, I continue to support the policy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-sday Saints to not endorse political parties, planks, or specific candidates. I also support the Church's policy of not directly seeking to influence the votes of Church members who serve in public office on legislation and not ever even considering disciplining members for votes. The latter is much different than the response of the Catholic Church, or at least parts of the Catholic Church structure to policy votes by Catholics who are legislators.

    My view is that religions are best off not endorsing specific candidates, but that limiting the right to do so is a violation of free speech.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Nov. 17, 2018 12:55 p.m.

    Considering the compromise involved not pulling out all the stops to try and defeat Prop 2, suing against the compromise is a sign of how intransient on such matters Ross Anderson is.

    One way to make sure Anderson does not stand in the way of good governance is for the legislature and the governor to present the compromise back to the voters. I think this would have a high chance of passing. Although since I feel legislatures should do their job and not pass it to the masses who elect them to work our the fine points of policy, I really do not like the approach. However if that is what is needed for the more positive policy to be implemented than that is what we should do.

  • Melvin Lee Cox NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Nov. 17, 2018 7:45 a.m.

    I stand with and live by Article 1 Sec 4 the Utah constitution:
    "there shall be no union of church and state, nor shall any church dominate the state or interfere with its functions."

    But I submit there is no part of the Utah Constitution that prevents any church or any like minded profit or non profit 501 (c)(3), union, association, organization, committee, group, fraternity, neighborhood from joining, assisting, cooperating with, or supporting a coalition of civic minded citizen such as the Utah Patients Coalition campaign and the Libertas Institute think tank and advocacy group on the pro-Proposition 2 side, and the Utah Medical Association and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    And any story that doctors or priesthood leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ were secretly meeting with state legislators and stuffing $100 bills in their back pockets to influence their actions is patently silly.

  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    Nov. 17, 2018 4:40 a.m.

    drugs should be regulated federally.. Or not at all.

  • Misseleer71 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 17, 2018 1:52 a.m.

    When it comes to the welfare and health of the land and people of all religions the church has every right to challenge the judgement of incompetent legislators, citizens on drugs, and those who have the intention of interfering with peace and law and order and rule of law.

    The church is not advocating religious liberties or religious ideology on this issue, I applaud them for having the guts to stand up and act in the defense of citizens who do not understand the ramifications of what this drug law is. The majority of those who want this law are not citizens. I am against the legalization of crimes for drug abuse and increased deaths, chaos, and unsafe streets in our cities and neighborhoods.

    I will stand my ground and if it comes to my personal protection of property or life I will have no doubt I will have no problem putting suicidal attackers to death to protect my property or my families lives. I have already been victimized and police have done nothing and my lively hood and life will not suffer anymore losses I can protect. Police cannot protect us from this kind of lawless society anymore and we are bound by our rights and liberties to protect and serve ourselves.

  • taking a stand for truth Lehi, UT
    Nov. 17, 2018 12:05 a.m.

    Rocky says the church violates Article I, Section 4 of the Utah Constitution, which states, in part, that "there shall be no union of church and state, nor shall any church dominate the state or interfere with its functions."

    Why has Rocky and so many people today so unread and uneducated about the Utah and US Constitution? Why do high schools and colleges fail to teach the basics of the constitutions we live under?

    This is not dominating the state nor is it interfering with its functions. Our founding fathers (and framers of the Utah constitution also) never intended that the church should be quieted from taking a stand on moral issues and issues that affect the quality of lives.

    People so misunderstand what "separation" of church and state is all about. And what a pity when they can google almost anything these days. But ya gotta wanna know the truth and check what sources the information is coming from.

  • Kora Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 9:40 p.m.

    For everyone against the Church lobbying for specific legislation, are you against all lobbying groups proposing legislation or being involved in creating specific laws? That is where a lot of legislation comes from.
    Do you oppose the Sierra Club trying to influence environmental laws or the alcohol industry with regards to DUI levels or other liquor laws in the state? Did you oppose the Outdoor Retailers association trying to influence land issues in Utah? Or do you just oppose the Church because it is the Church and so many Utah citizens are members of it?
    I suspect most who attack the Church trying to influence laws probably don't feel the same way when it is organizations they support trying to pass legislation they also support.

  • bemorefair MH, 00
    Nov. 16, 2018 4:44 p.m.

    It's not about the church influencing the law of the land, it's about haters gonna hate.

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2018 3:19 p.m.

    This isn’t about Rocky wanting attention, it’s about the church influencing the law of the land

  • Diego De La Vega South Jordan, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 2:51 p.m.

    Rocky Anderson just wants another fifteen minutes of fame by threatening The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with another lawsuit. The truth is very simple, the first amendment to the U. S. Constitution allows freedom of religion and not freedom from religion. Therefore, the Church has just as much right to lobby the State legislature on what is considers a moral issue in working out a compromise to a controversial issue. Would Rocky Anderson threaten to sue the Utah Pride Center regarding a piece of legislation that they wanted. I don't think so! Years ago, the ACLU was asked about The Church of Jesus Christ and their lobbying efforts. The ACLU said that the Church had just as much right to lobby the legislature as any other group. Rocky, what is sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander. The Church of Jesus Christ needs to continue to speak out on what is considers moral issues affecting the community. Threats of intimidation should not be used to silence a differing idea or opinion.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 2:44 p.m.

    Any one think elected policies can't be changed? Think marriage between a man and woman. Didn't matter what the vote was. First overturned in California by one gay judge.

    Find the right judge and prop 2 can be overturned as it is a violation of federal constitutional law.

    A warning, one single pothead runs into my car while under the influence, with standing I think I could sue to get prop 2 overridden.

  • Grandfather Ogden, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 2:08 p.m.

    It's a little bit about Church and State, a little bit about ego, a little bit about getting high, and a little bit about getting relief. But Rocky, it's a LOT about creating another quasi governmental entity that the Goodfellas can profit from and plunder. We'll call it UPOT. Like its big brothers and sisters, as in Utah's League of Cities and Towns, Utah Capital Investment, URS, UCA, LPP, Medicaid, GOED, DABC, UTA, USTAR et. al., we believe UPOT is poised like a bottomless tar pit that swallows taxpayer's dollars and renders up "juicy" residuals to Utah's Goodfellas and the legislative Gang that can't shoot straight. All one has to do is read Utah Legislative Auditor General reports. s/The Ole' Buzzard

  • Beardman Springville, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 2:02 p.m.

    Oh Rocky Anderson wants to sue the church? In other breaking news the sky is blue, fire burns, and the sun will rise in the east and set in the west. Prop 2 is not about patients or medicine. If it was, there wouldn't be a need for people to have 6 marijuana plants in their home for "personal use".

  • jakslc Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 1:51 p.m.

    I'm a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I voted against the bill. No one in the Church told me how to vote.

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 1:38 p.m.

    Oh Rocky, nobody is coming after your weed, relax

  • dski HERRIMAN, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 12:59 p.m.

    The same person who sued to stop the Legacy Highway and it cost taxpayers of Utah, millions of dollars?

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 12:52 p.m.

    Many also voted against the proposition on the basis of expecting the compromise proposal through the legislature. The yes side was heavily leading in polling before the compromise proposal came about so it's not necessarily the case that the compromise proposal tilted things towards the yes side, it could've easily been the reverse.

    Also, churches can weigh in however they want on pieces of legislation. They can't endorse specific politicians in races so you'll never see them endorse Mitt Romney, for instance. Granted, there's limited enforcement of the provisions against it, especially with Trump taking steps towards even less enforcement of it, so I'm not even sure much would happen even if they did, but they seem interested in sticking to the law on that matter (and also just might not be interested in doing that even if it were totally fine, it's not like the church makes endorsements of particular politicians in other countries that might not have such limits). Of course, if the thing being pushed is unconstitutional, then the courts have a duty to strike down that provision and that's not a violation of freedom of religion.

  • 1Observer Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 12:44 p.m.

    @jcler2006 - the Reynolds decision applies to a religious practice that violated federal law, not the right of a church to engage in public discourse on social matters. Given the unanimous SCOTUS ruling in 2006 in Gonzales v O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal allowing the import and use of peyote for religious purposes, I’m not sure Reynolds would be decided the same way today.

    @Here - unless you have been in the legislature or closely involved in the legislature I don’t think you are qualified to know the depth of influence or involvement of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints on Utah politics. It is much less than most people think. The influence comes from personally held beliefs of elected officials, not lobbying by any church on issues. Unless you expect every elected official to leave their personal beliefs and biases at the door of the statehouse then those beliefs and biases will always affect their decisions no matter their faith or lack thereof. That is what a representative government is all about. We vote for people based on how their beliefs and opinions and attitudes align with our own.

  • Den Den West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 12:00 p.m.

    It is just a matter of time for marijuana to be legal for recreational use in Utah. Way to go Utah. We can look forward to an influx of California pot heads who can now longer afford to live in CA.

  • jeclar2006 Oceanside, CA
    Nov. 16, 2018 11:55 a.m.

    Flashback - Kearns, UT
    Far as I'm concerned, the Church can stick their noses anywhere they feel like. Especially on an issue like this.

    Well, so much for 'Freedom of Religion/Separation of Church and State', which is not a freedom for religion, or a particular religious group, to 'stick its nose' anywhere, especially in government.

    I am almost daily astonished at the hypocrisy of 'believers', especially in Utah, when the pioneers came to the region to escape areas where government was 'sticking its nose' into personal affairs of Mormons at the time, based on the religious beliefs of those in government at the time. The Supreme Court decision in Reynolds v US, carefully worded the decision to avoid appearing to infringe on religion, but in essence, did in fact infringe on religion, based on the religious beliefs of the judges.

    The principle works both ways, the state should not regulate religious expression, nor should religious beliefs dictate state policy.

  • Morgan Duel Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 11:40 a.m.

    Remember Amlici!!!

  • DaveM Ogden Richland, MS
    Nov. 16, 2018 11:29 a.m.

    When Rocky pays back the $100,000,000 he cost the state of Utah on the Legacy Highway contract, then maybe we'll listen to this guy, otherwise he needs to go away.

  • ConradGurch Salt Lake City, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2018 11:19 a.m.

    Most of the comments in here are happy with the result of the legislature because their church was influential in drawing up the "compromise" even before the public voted.

    Just a thought, what if it wasn't a representative from your church drawing up the bill? How would you feel then?

    Separation of Church & State!

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 11:16 a.m.


    People don't complain about other churches because those other churches don't have the Utah Legislature in their back pocket.

  • Johnny Triumph Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 11:04 a.m.

    @jskains - I agree, we're now stuck with a flawed law and we're hoping that compromise will change it. Which makes me wonder why Mr Anderson is even worried at this point, prop 2 passed (unfortunately, in my view) and that's what will become law. Too many voted for it expecting the compromise to fix things; Mr Anderson's lawsuit is premature.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 10:41 a.m.

    The people, for once, have spoken! Leave Prop 2 alone!

  • Kora Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 10:29 a.m.

    Frozen Fractals is spot on. This is a standard law, like any other law it can be modified by the legislature if it is not in the Constitution of the State or Nation. Laws can be, and are changed after passage on a regular basis.
    As for the Church, they have the same right as any other individual or organization to give their opinion. It is not a violation of the law. It is also not against the law for a legislator to be influenced by an outside organization, including the Church.
    Rocky is only taking another opportunity to attack the Church because of personal animosity towards it, nothing else.

  • 1Observer Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 10:24 a.m.

    The lawsuit is a red herring. If the lawsuit were to succeed and the compromise bill scrapped, I know a lot of people who voted yes on Prop 2 becuase they knew there would be a compromise. Otherwise they would have voted no. Who’s to say the initiaitive would have passed without some pre-agreement about the compromise? Should the people who were duped be able to sue because both sides falsely promoted a compromise?

    The courts have consistently ruled that religious institutions can voice their opinion on social and moral issues, even in the political arena. I never hear anyone complaining when other religions voice their opinions or invite politicians to speak in their churches. Is it really fair to silence religious voices? Do they not have a right to free speech? A church engaging in public discourse does not violate the establishment clause in the Constitution.

    sgallen - the Governor calls the legislature into a special session. No one else, at this time, has the power to do that. Though that changed with the positive vote on the consitutional amendment to allow the legislature to call themselves into a special session.

  • Danny Chipman Lehi, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 10:14 a.m.


    The Church's statements that they are very much for medical marijuana but against the proposition as it was then worded sounds pretty non-partisan to me.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 10:11 a.m.

    I wonder if Esquire Rocky gets a volume discount on his filing fees at the courthouse??

    Reputable/credible attorneys don't necessarily call the media at the same time they are doing their legal filing!

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 10:02 a.m.

    This isn't a constitutional amendment. There's nothing that stops the legislature from just overriding it with a regular vote. If you have a problem with the legislature doing things like that in response to ballot initiatives, then vote them out next time.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 9:54 a.m.

    "Far as I'm concerned, the Church can stick their noses anywhere they feel like. Especially on an issue like this."

    And, from time to time, they should come away with a bloodied nose, because anywhere they like may not necessarily be anywhere they're welcome.

  • goodnight-goodluck Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 9:22 a.m.

    God Bless Rocky Anderson!

  • Ralph Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 9:10 a.m.

    Flashback: "Far as I'm concerned, the Church can stick their noses anywhere they feel like. Especially on an issue like this."

    Exactly the problem! The Mormon very-faithful would like nothing better than to have The Church make all their political and social decisions for them.

    That's great for the Mormons (not really) and not so great for the Gentiles.

  • eldonp Parowan, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 9:04 a.m.

    Although the LDS Church doesn't endorse parties or candidates, its official site says this: " [We] Reserve the right as an institution to address, in a nonpartisan way, issues that it believes have significant community or moral consequences or that directly affect the interests of the Church."

    The problem is that it's impossible to address many issues in a non-partisan way. Partisan means taking a side. It also means biased. Either definition applies.

    Forget Rocky for a minute. The Church was clearly involved in the ballot proposition in a partisan way. It's seeking to "augment" the will of the people in a partisan way. And it is using elected partisan officials to promote its interests. It has every right to do this, of course, but not to call its efforts nonpartisan.

    It would more accurate to eliminate "in a partisan way" from the official site. Otherwise it's doublespeak that veers toward Newspeak.

  • drich Green River, Utah
    Nov. 16, 2018 8:51 a.m.

    Good old Rockie needs to move to California or colorado.

  • sgallen Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 8:03 a.m.

    The question is who really initiated the special session? Was it Marty Stephens or Greg Hughes? And did the compromise only proceed because of the blessing of the church? What would have happened if the church said no? The discovery process will answer these questions.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 7:23 a.m.

    Rocky needs to find something else to do with his time. We already have him to thank for the lowered speed limits on Legacy Highway, which are very annoying.

    Far as I'm concerned, the Church can stick their noses anywhere they feel like. Especially on an issue like this.

  • jskains Orem, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 6:59 a.m.

    The major issue is it undermines the voting process. Prop 2 passed. If you change to before it goes into law, it’s basocally a bait and switch. What if this compromise isn’t what a voter wanted? Want to have more people feel their vote doesn’t really count? This is how you get that.

  • Justmythoughts Provo, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 6:45 a.m.

    Good ‘ole Rocky... never disappoints.

  • Misseleer71 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 4:42 a.m.

    I agree, this bait and switch fraud is a fraud and the people have voted on one version with no compromise to the original law proposed in the vote process. No changes are allowed and no compromise changes after the fact and shut down this fraudulent process forever.

  • JMOpinion Orem, UT
    Nov. 16, 2018 2:39 a.m.

    Mr Anderson - there were many of us that changed our vote and voted for the bill because of the compromise. If the people don’t want changes, they can contact their elected representatives and let them know. If the Church is exerting undue pressure on legislators (and you know they are always involved on moral issues), shame on the legislators for caving to that pressure rather than listening to their constituents. The voters should take care of that as well. Don’t tie up the courts just to satisfy your personal disagreement with the Church or elected representatives.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    Nov. 15, 2018 9:59 p.m.

    Just when you think you've heard the last of Rocky, like a moth to the flame he sidles in when there's publicity to be had.

    Go away already Rocky, this suit is frivolous and has no merit especially when the proposition allowed for legislative measures to finalize it into law. This is not a democracy, never has been from the framing of the constitution. It has always been a Republic where we vote for representatives who's job it is to understand the issues more than the layperson can or has time to understand.

    The agreements made by both sides were acceptable to both sides of this issue by people who understand and have studied it far more than me. I want people who honestly need an alternative to Benzos and Opiates to have access but not at the expense of society at large. If I could TRADE MJ for opiates or ETOH I would in a second, but unfortunately that isn't an option.

  • Brad Peterson South Ogden, UT
    Nov. 15, 2018 8:53 p.m.

    This isn't a valid lawsuit. There are no grounds to sue. This is a temper tantrum. It's a PR stunt.

    It's not against the law for a group you don't like to express a political opinion you don't like. The First Amendment gives everyone, even churches, the right to express opinions on ballot propositions. Religious speech can't be met with government threats of more regulations, tax increases, or calls for courts to silence specific religions entirely.

    A church speaking on a moral issue is the opposite of illegal. It's a celebrated, fundamental part of America.

  • Spoc Ogden, UT
    Nov. 15, 2018 7:46 p.m.

    It's pure democracy vs. constitutional republic.

    In a pure democracy all issues are resolved by a popular vote and the majority always wins. Unfortunately, I do not have the knowledge, time, or resources to make wise decisions in all matters of government. And sometimes the interests of the minority need to be protected from the majority.

    To that end we hire legislators, familiar with the issues, hopefully are smarter than us, with the resources to seek out the information they need from constituents, libraries, advocates, professionals, and leaders of all kinds to make those choices for us. I do not expect or want them to vote the same way I would. I expect them to make better choices. That is their job.

    So, with respect to the MJ issue, a lot of people voted for it with the expectation that it had flaws, but was better than doing nothing and they had been promised a fixit bill was in the works. They expect the legislature to follow through on that promise.

    Stenquist's disingenuous position is that churches are allowed to express their opinion, but the Legislature is not allowed to listen. That would be "caving to pressure".

  • cmsense Kaysville, UT
    Nov. 15, 2018 7:33 p.m.

    I guess Rocky doesn't realize, that though Prop 2 is the law of Utah now, it is not engraven in stone with any more special status than any other law. He probably does realizes it, just must like publicity. It is only the law of the land until the legislative branch and executive branch pass laws after it, then the newest law becomes the law of the land. Rocky's suit should be tossed out. Makes no sense. Proposition 2 is not part of the Utah constitution - easy to amend and change.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Nov. 15, 2018 7:28 p.m.

    Go get 'em, Rocky! The so-called "compromise" is a violation of the 1st Amendment that undermines the voice of the people!