Utah’s incoming attorney general estimates the state will need $2 million (€1.4) to appeal District Judge Robert J. Shelby’ 53-page marriage equality decision.
Late last week Sean Reyes, who will be sworn in tomorrow (30 December) met with the state’s Republican legislative leadership to discuss bringing in outside legal help for the case.
‘We need the best we can get,’ House Speaker Becky Lockhart said to KSL-TV, according to the Daily Herald.
‘He (Reyes) is coming into this, frankly, in the middle,’ Lockhart continued.
Early last week Governor Gary Herbert picked Reyes to replace the present attorney general, John Swallow, who announced his resignation in November.
Lockhart, and other state Republican leaders, were not daunted by the bill for the appeal.
‘To go through the court process on an issue that, on a 2-to-1 vote, the people of our state felt was important to have in our constitution, I think is of value,’ the speaker told KSL.
In 2004, voters supported a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a union between one man and woman.
State senate President Wayne Niederhauser, a Republican, announced he would probably support the appropriation.
‘This is a big deal for the Legislature and for Utah,’ Niederhauser said.
However, Senate Minority Leader Gene Davis, a Democrat, did not understand why the state needed additional legal assistance.
‘I think it’s a ridiculous way to go. I don’t think we’re going to win,’ the minority leader said. ‘I believe we have appropriated the money for the attorney general’s office for good attorneys to be able to argue any issue.’