Utah residents are subject to Utah state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Utah as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Utah also has its own state laws. Utah state laws include the Utah Constitution, laws passed by the Utah legislature and periodically codified in the Utah Code, and decisions by courts that interpret Utah laws.
The original version of the Utah Constitution, which was drafted in 1895, remains substantially in effect. This document was the eighth constitution drafted in Utah, which could not become a state until it abandoned the practice of polygamy. The Constitution was notably progressive in granting women the right to vote well before the U.S. Constitution granted this right. Article XXIII provides the processes for amending the Constitution. First, an amendment proposed in the legislature will appear on a ballot if two-thirds of each chamber of the legislature votes in its favor. Alternatively, a proposal for a constitutional convention will appear on a ballot if two-thirds of each chamber of the legislature votes in its favor.
The Utah Code contains the laws passed by the Utah legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Utah Constitution are often interpreted by the Utah Supreme Court and the Utah Court of Appeals. The federal Utah District Court also issues decisions that may affect Utah residents. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by the Utah District Court. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Tenth Circuit or from the Utah Supreme Court.