Advocates for Labor and Progressive Institutions

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Utah Supreme Court Ruling Paves Way for Referendum Overturning Voucher Legislation

November 6, 2007

In a referendum on November 6, 2007, Utah voters decisively rejected a statewide private-school voucher program that the state’s Legislature had enacted by a one-vote margin earlier in the year. 

That result was made possible by a ruling of the Utah Supreme Court in June, which foiled an attempt of voucher proponents to render the referendum meaningless by interpreting a subsequent minor amendatory bill as having reenacted the voucher program in a form not subject to referendum.  Following a two-week briefing and argument schedule, the Utah Supreme Court rejected that interpretation, via a rare ruling from the bench, in litigation brought on behalf of the referendum sponsors by attorneys from Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC,  Snow v. Office of Legislative Research, 167 P.3d 1051 (Utah 2007).