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Utah has one of the most unique histories of any state in the country. It was the first state to grant women’s suffrage in 1870 as a territory. The Federal Government unfortunately disenfranchised Utah only one decade later due to prejudice prevalent at the time against Mormons, who made up a majority of Utah’s population. It was not until Utah’s admission as a state that Utah regained its ability to vote.
Utah currently has over 6,000 attorneys, and is one of a handful of states to have seen a decline in the number of active attorneys since 2007. The Utah judicial branch is composed of a Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, District Court, and local Justice Courts. Attorneys who practice in Utah must pass a bar examination, professional responsibility examination, and a background check. No one may become an attorney in Utah if they have ever been convicted of a felony.
Utah has its fair share of unique laws. Utah does not allow unmarried couples to adopt, one of only a handful of states to do so. The state controls the sale of liquor and spirits, with grocery stores only allowed to sell beer with an alcohol content of 3.2 or below. Ironically, Utah also provided the final necessary vote to pass the 21st amendment outlawing prohibition in the early 1900’s.
Other amendments have not passed, however. Utah is one of few states which has not yet ratified the Equal Rights amendment, which if passed would become the 28th amendment to the United States. The amendment makes it illegal for the government to discriminate based on sex.
A little known but nonetheless important case for the state of Utah is Utah v. Evans. The state challenged census statistical practices which imputed a population loss to Utah and a population gain for North Carolina during the 2000 census. The census’ statistics ended up giving North Carolina one extra representative, and taking away one of Utah’s. Utah eventually lost the appeal to the Supreme Court.
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Last Modified: 12-27-2013 02:31 PM PST