Salt lake city government

Democrats pledge to take Joel Ferry’s lawsuit to Utah Supreme Court – Cache Valley Daily


After two rulings by federal judge Jill N. Parrish in favor of the government, Utah Democrats pledge to take their case to Utah Democratic Party v. Henderson in Utah Supreme Court (Image courtesy of

SALT LAKE CITY — After rolling snake eyes twice, Utah Democrats now want to throw the bones again in the Utah Democratic Party’s case against Henderson.

On September 8, Utah Democrats filed a federal lawsuit, asking Judge Jill N. Parrish of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah here to order Lieutenant Governor Deidre Henderson to withdraw the name of former Rep. Joel Ferry of the House ballot. District 1.

Parrish decided not to rule on the Utah Constitution and Utah law on September 12, deferring instead to his former colleagues on the Utah Supreme Court.

After hearing oral arguments in the case on Sept. 15, she also refused to block the lieutenant governor’s office from mailing District 1 ballots to military personnel deployed overseas.

“The Lieutenant Governor’s policy is not to comment on pending litigation,” said Jackson Murphy, communications specialist for Lieutenant Governor Diedre Henderson.

“But his position has not changed since she sent the Utah Democratic Party… a response to their letter on August 24.

“There is no statutory basis on which I can affirmatively disqualify a candidate,” Murphy said, citing Henderson’s response. “‘At the moment whether or not Mr Ferry remains on the ballot is entirely up to him.'”

“We are not giving up on the fight for the rights of HD-1 voters to choose their own representative instead of having their legislator chosen by a small group of party insiders,” said Diane Lewis, state chairman of the HD-1. Utah Democratic Party.

“That means the next step is to take our case to the Supreme Court of Utah.”

Governor Spencer Cox unleashed this storm in a teapot when he appointed Ferry as the new director of the Department of Natural Resources.

Initially, Ferry refused to relinquish his District 1 seat in the Legislative Assembly representing the Cache County communities of Clarkston, Cornish and Newton as well as significant parts of Box Elder County and the Western Desert.

State Democrats shouted “foul,” citing an earlier ruling by the state attorney general’s office that found it unconstitutional for anyone to serve in the executive and legislative branches of government simultaneously.

Ferry was eventually forced to resign under this political pressure. But his name remains on the District 1 ballot in the November election.

At stake is whether Ferry will be allowed to run to retain his seat in the Legislative Assembly and then resign, giving the state GOP the chance to select a Republican replacement.

If Ferry is removed from the race, Democrat Joshua Hardy’s name would be the only one to appear on the District 1 ballot. Hardy would then likely be heading for victory.

Democrats are getting more strident as their frustration mounts. During a Sept. 1 visit to Cache Valley, however, Cox wondered exactly what rights they claimed to be protecting, since HD-1 is “about 85 percent Republican.”

Lewis says Democrats will ask the Utah Supreme Court to rule on Henderson’s decision to certify Ferry as a qualified candidate and Ferry’s alleged violation of the separation of powers provisions in the Utah Constitution.

“Put simply,” Hardy said, “Joel Ferry and the Republican Party are trying to fundamentally disenfranchise the people of District 1. We deserve better than this.

This State is not governed by a party, but by our Constitution and the rule of law. This is what we are fighting for. »

Hardy added that Utah Democrats hope to see this issue resolved as soon as possible.

Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion