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Lockhart-Niederhauser 7-15-13 (00398470)

Lockhart-Niederhauser 7-15-13 (00398470)

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Published by PubliusDB
Rod Snow letter regarding House investigative committee on July 15, 2013.
Rod Snow letter regarding House investigative committee on July 15, 2013.

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Published by: PubliusDB on Jul 17, 2013
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07/23/2013

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ClydeSnow
ATTORNEYS
AT
LAW
CLYDE
SNOW
&
SESSIONS
A
PROFESSIONAL
CORPORATION
ONE
UTAH
CENTER
THIRTEENTH
FLOOR201
SOUTHMAINSTREET
SALTLAKE
CITY.
UTAH
84111-2216
TEL
801.322.2516
FAX
801.521.6280
www.clydesnow.com
July15,2013
CLARK
W.
SESSIONS.
RODNEY
G.SNOW
STEVEN
E.
CLYDE
EDWIN
C.
BARNES
NEIL
A.KAPLAN"
D.
BRENT
ROSECHARLES
R.
BROWN
s
J.
SCOTT
HUNTERPERRIN
R.
LOVE-DEAN
C.
ANDREASENANNELI
R.
SMITH
WALTERA.
ROMNEY.
JR.
MATTHEW
A.
STEWARD
T.
MICKELL
JIMENEZ
JENNIFER
A
JAMESi
CHRISTOPHER
B.
SNOW-
BRENT
R.
BAKER"
D.
LOREN
WASHBURN.nAARON
D.
LEBENTA
MARK
L.
SMITHo
WAYNE
Z.
BENNETT
BRIAN
C.
WEBBER
KEVIN
A.
TURNEY
ROBERTD.
ANDREASEN
KATHERINE
E.
JUDD
DIANA
L.
TELFER
JONATHAN
S
CLYDE
SHANNON
K.
ZOLLINGER
TIMOTHY
R.
PACK
JACOB
L.
FONNESBECK1
ofcounsel:
nathan
b.
wilcox
REAGANLB.DESMOND
-a
EDWARD
W.
CLYDE
(1917-
1991)
t
SENIOR
COUNSEL
ALSO
ADMITTED
IN
WASHINGTON.
D.C.
§
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IN
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ADMITTED
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BYEMAIL
ANDHAND-DELIVERY
RebeccaD.Lockhart,Speaker
of
theHouseWayneL.Niederhauser,President
of
theSenate
do
John
L.
Fellows,GeneralCounsel
Office
of
LegislativeResearchandGeneralCounselUtahStateCapitolComplexHouseBuilding,SuiteW210
SaltLakeCity,
Utah84114
Re:
Attorney
GeneralInvestigation
DearSpeakerLockhartand
PresidentNiederhauser:
Wehavefollowedwithinteresttheactivities
of
theLegislatureregardingtheinvestigation
of
theAttorneyGeneral,JohnSwallow.WeunderstandtheentireLegislaturewill
beinsessionthis
week
to
enact
legislationthat
mayseem
tobe
necessary
to
conduct
aninvestigation.
Aswehaveexpressedbefore,allthreebranches
of
ourgovernmentaresubjecttothe
Constitution
of
thisState,
as
well
as
theUnitedStatesConstitution.
Eachmember
of
the
LegislaturehastakenanoathtoupholdourConstitution.Weareanation
of
lawsandthe
Constitution
is
the
cornerstone
of
our
laws.
Criticalto
our
democracyistheseparation
of
powersintothreeindependentbranches
of
government.OnebranchmaynotexercisepoweroveranotherexceptasauthorizedbytheConstitution.Impeachmentisalegislativeprocess,butitisconfinedbythelanguage
of
theConstitutionasinterpretedbyourSupremeCourt.Wehaveadvisedyourcounsel
of
thelawinthatrespectandsent
him
copies
of
thecaselawwhichsupports
our
position.Wehaveaskedforhisauthoritythat"youcandoanythingyouwant"andnonehasbeenforthcoming.Anation
of
lawsis
notgrounded
ontheprinciplethatonebranch
can
"do
anything
itwants"withrespect
to
anotherbranch,particularly
if
not
authorized
by
theConstitution.
Thusfaritappearsthatthescope
of
theinvestigation,whichistomakea
recommendation
asto
whether
an
impeachmentproceedingshould
beinitiatedinthe
House,
far
exceedsthedefinition
of
"highcrimes,misdemeanors,andmalfeasanceinoffice,"asthatphrase
(00398411-1
 
ClyddSnow
ATTORNEYS
ATLAW
Rebecca
D.
Lockhart
Speaker
of
theHouseWayneL.Niederhauser
President
of
theSenate
July15,2013
Page
2
hasbeeninterpretedby
our
SupremeCourt.Thefactthatyourpotentialeffortswillbelegislativeasopposedtojudicialisadistinctionwithoutanysignificantdifference.ThelanguageintheUtahstatuteforremoval
of
electedofficersnotliablefor
impeachment
(removedbyjudicialproceedings)isidenticaltothelanguageintheConstitutionforremovalbyimpeachment.Clearly,thejudicialremovallanguagewasadoptedfromtheConstitutionsoastonotcontradicttheconstraintsimposedbytheConstitution.Our
Supreme
Courthas,initsopinions,madereferencetothelanguageintheConstitution.InoneparticularcaseanelectedCountyAuditor
was
convicted
of
failuretofilehistaxreturns-afederalmisdemeanor.The
crimeoccurredduringapriorterm
of
office.TheCourtfoundthisdidnotinterferewiththeAuditor'scurrentterm
of
officeandfoundthatremovalthenwasinappropriate.
Theimpeachment
process,includinganinvestigationrelatedthereto,
shouldnot
beused
tooverridethedecision
of
theelectorateunlessahighcrime,
misdemeanor
andmalfeasancein
office,hasoccurredwhiletheelectedofficialisinoffice.Themischief
of
aninvestigationthatexceedsthisconstitutionalmandateisreadilyapparent.Itopensthedoorforalltypes
of
inquiriesregardinganyelectedofficialandcouldallowtheLegislaturetonotonlyattemptto
overridetheelectionprocess,butundulyinterferewithanotherbranch
of
governmentinviolation
of
theseparation
of
powersdoctrinesofundamentaltoourdemocracy.Andsucha
processcouldviolatethefederalCivilRightsAct,sincetheLegislaturewillbeactingunder
color
of
law.Theserisksseemtomakelittlesenseinlight
of
theindependentandthorough
investigation
now
well
under
waybythePublicIntegritySection
of
theUnitedStatesDepartment
of
Justice.Sparingtheexpense,traumaandtimeattendanttosuchan
investigation
seems
to
make
sense,
under
thesecircumstances.
WehavenotedwithinteresttheRFPsenttomanylawyers,bothwithintheStateandoutsideourState.Threelawyersinmyfirmhavebeencontacted.Respectfully,wemustdeclinethisopportunity.Moreover,theformerWashington,D.C.lawfirm
of
Mark
Shurtleff
hasalso
beencontacted
and
they
asked
if
we
might
beinterestedin
associating
aslocalcounsel-
which
privilegewealsodeclined.
If
youproceed,wehopeyouwillretaincounselthathastheintegrity,experienceandgoodjudgmentnottotakeanuntenablepositionforpoliticalreasonsorpurposes.Whoeveryouchoose,welookforwardtoworkingwiththem.
Finally,
if
you
are
consideringwhat
youthink
might
be
necessaryprocedures,
we
respectfullyrequestyouprovidefortheability
of
theAttorneyGeneralto
subpoena
witnessesonhis
behalf
totestifyandtobepresentatthetaking
of
witnessstatementsorsworntestimony.We
havelittle
doubtthe
investigative
committee
willbeinterestedin
the
entiretruth,
even
if
the
scope
of
theinquirymayexceedthelegislativeconstitutionallimits.
(00398411-1

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