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Utah Supreme Court sides with opponents of redistricting that carved up Democratic-leaning area

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Utah Supreme Court sides with opponents of redistricting that carved up Democratic-leaning area


Utah’s Supreme Court handed a victory Thursday to opponents of redistricting that carved up Democratic-leaning Salt Lake County among four congressional districts that have since all elected Republicans by wide margins.

The 5-0 ruling won’t affect elections this year. The Supreme Court sent the case back to a lower court to revisit the process for redrawing the state’s congressional boundaries.

That will take time, and the current boundaries will remain for now.

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But an attorney for the League of Women Voters and others that challenged the boundaries drawn by the state Legislature was optimistic they would be overturned.

“This is a sweeping victory,” said Mark Gaber with the Campaign Legal Center. “I’m hopeful we will prevail and in the end we will have new, fair maps in Utah.”

State lawmakers had argued the new maps ensured a better mix of urban and rural areas in all districts. They also said redistricting could not be subject to judicial review, a claim Supreme Court justices expressed skepticism about in arguments a year ago.

The contested map approved by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature stripped power from a independent redistricting commission that had been established to ensure that congressional boundaries aren’t drawn to favor one party over another. Utah voters created the commission by narrowly passing a “Better Boundaries” ballot initiative in 2018.

The Legislature repealed the “Better Boundaries” commission process in favor of its own. In 2021, lawmakers approved a map that divided Salt Lake County, which Joe Biden carried by 11 points in the 2020 election, among the state’s four congressional districts.

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Lawmakers ignored a map drawn by the commission, prompting the lawsuit.

“People were out going door to door soliciting signatures,” Katharine Biele, president of the Utah League of Women Voters, said of the ballot initiative. “Then the Legislature just threw out everything we’ve done. We’re a happy bunch right now.”

Gov. Spencer Cox, a Republican who signed the commission repeal and redistricting bills into law and sided with lawmakers in the case, said in a statement he disagreed with some of the ruling but respected the Supreme Court’s role in Utah government.

Utah’s constitution gives significant weight to statewide ballot initiatives, which if approved become laws equal to those passed by the Legislature. Lawmakers may not change laws approved through ballot initiative except to reinforce or at least not impair them, or to advance a compelling government interest, the Supreme Court ruled.

“I’m not going to make predictions about what courts will do, but that seems like a tall burden,” Gaber said of future proceedings in the case.

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A landmark 2023 U.S. Supreme Court ruling denied state lawmakers’ absolute power to draw congressional boundaries.

Republicans and Democrats in several other states including Kentucky, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Alaska have battled over whether partisan gerrymandering violates the law and imperils people’s right to choose their representatives.

In Utah, Republicans have dominated elections in all four of the state’s congressional districts since the redistricting. The last Democrat to represent Utah in the U.S. House was Ben McAdams, who narrowly lost to Burgess Owens after a recount in the Fourth District race in 2020.

In 2022, Owens won the district by an almost 30-point margin. The district previously had a history of trading hands between Republicans and Democrats after every election or two.



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Utah

Craig Swapp + Associates: Utah backpack swapp meet

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Craig Swapp + Associates: Utah backpack swapp meet


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (Good Things Utah) Join the Utah Backpack Swapp Meet, brought to you by Craig Swapp + Associates!

It’s a fun event to help local families get free backpacks and school supplies. Just visit www.backpackswappmeet.com to reserve your backpack, or come on July 20th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. At Granger Elementary School, 3700 S 1950 W, West Valley City, UT 84119. Enjoy free shaved ice, music, and more. Bring new or gently used backpacks to donate. Let’s support our community together!

Visit the website or contact events@craigswapp.com for more information.

Sponsored by Craig Swapp + Associates

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Best Utah Registered Agent Services Of 2024

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Best Utah Registered Agent Services Of 2024


To determine the highest-quality registered agent services, we researched over 15 providers and chose the 10 best. We reviewed these services across six primary categories, with a total of 17 different metrics. The criteria were weighted to stress features that are valuable for small businesses.

Here are the metrics we applied to assess the most effective registered agent services:

Pricing

We assessed both the startup and renewal costs for registered agent services, as well as any extra or unexpected fees, including surprise add-ons. We also factored in any guarantees and additional benefits. Pricing makes up 20% of the final score.

General Features

Thirty percent of our review methodology included looking at how providers manage documents, communicate the arrival of new correspondence and whether they alert you to important registration renewal deadlines and urgent documents.

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Mobile App

Modern business often extends beyond a single office location. Many entrepreneurs use mobile technology to maintain smooth operations. We assessed whether services provide a mobile app, although this feature only represents 5% of the score because it does not affect the core services provided by the agent.

Service and Support

Unlike mobile features, we found that the ability to get in touch with live help at any time is a crucial component of a superior service. We researched the customer support availability for each provider and rated them based on the different methods of contact, the availability of 24/7 support and the existence of a knowledge base for self-help. These factors make up 15% of a provider’s total score.

Ratings and Reviews

To understand user perceptions of each provider, we looked at third-party user reviews and ratings. We assessed the average rating for each provider and the count of reviews they collected. These ratings make up 10% of the total score.

Expert Score

Based on our direct experience, we considered a variety of metrics such as user-friendliness, feature quality and popularity to determine the top services. This expert review constitutes the final 20% of the total rating.

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Los Angeles Clippers And Utah Jazz Officially Complete Trade

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Los Angeles Clippers And Utah Jazz Officially Complete Trade


Russell Westbrook has spent part of two seasons with the Los Angeles Clippers.

However, the 2017 MVP was officially traded to the Utah Jazz on Thursday.

Via Clippers.com: “The LA Clippers have acquired guard Kris Dunn in a sign-and-trade with the Utah Jazz in exchange for guard Russell Westbrook, a right to swap second-round draft picks in 2030, the draft rights to center Balsa Koprivica and cash considerations, it was announced by President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank.”

The Clippers also shared a quote from President of Basketball Operations Lawrence Frank.

Frank via Clippers.com: “Russ is an all-time great and we were fortunate to have him here. He lifted the energy and intensity of the group. We look forward to seeing him continue his decorated career.”

Russell Westbroo

Apr 7, 2024; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard James Harden (1) and guard Russell Westbrook (0) react on the court in the first half against the Cleveland Cavaliers at Crypto.com Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports / Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Westbrook finished this past season with averages of 11.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.1 steals per contest while shooting 45.4% from the field and 27.3% from the three-point range in 68 games.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Utah Jazz will waive the nine-time NBA All-Star, and then he will likely sign with the Denver Nuggets.

Via Wojnarowski: “Once Russell Westbrook clears waivers, the expectation is that he’ll join the Denver Nuggets as a free agent and bring them another veteran to bolster the team’s bench and be available as a spot-starter.”

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The Clippers will be getting Kris Dunn, who is coming off a season where he averaged 5.4 points, 2.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 1.0 steals per contest while shooting 47.0% from the field and 36.9% from the three-point range in 66 games.

He was the fifth pick in the 2016 NBA Draft out of Providence.





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