Happy Father's Day this weekend and Juneteenth on Monday!; Jack Teixeira indicted; Utah's unemployment rate stays at 2.3%
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The Utah Policy newsletter is your one-stop source for political and policy-minded news. We scour the news so you don't have to! Send news tips or feedback to Holly Richardson at editor@utahpolicy.com.


Situational Analysis | June 16, 2023

It's Friday and World Sea Turtle Day.

A very happy Father's Day to all fathers and father figures this weekend!

What You Need to Know

  • The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 yesterday—with Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissenting—to uphold provisions in the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 that require preferencing tribal families in adoptions of Native American children. Writing for the court majority, Justice Amy Coney Barrett pointed to two centuries of precedent that have established a broad congressional right to legislate on Indian affairs, including family law matters. "The Constitution does not erect a firewall around family law," she said.

  • Jack Teixeira, the Air National Guard member accused of leaking classified material on Discord, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury on six counts of illegally retaining and transmitting national defense information—up from the two charges he faced when he was first arrested in April. If convicted of all the allegations, Teixeira could face decades in prison.

Rapid Relevance


Refugees are Leaders

Refugees add to the cultural, economic and social fabric of our communities. Utahn refugees bring resilience, diverse perspectives, and a deep appreciation for the opportunities provided by their new home. Learn More and Become a Welcomer. #WorldRefugeeDay


Utah Headlines

Political news

  • Rep. Blake Moore: National park employees need more housing options (Deseret News)
  • U.S. comptroller describes fraud in COVID-19 programs as ‘epic’ in hearing led by Sen. Mitt Romney (Deseret News)
  • Utah Rep. John Curtis, GOP fight BLM rule they say would restrict access to land (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • ‘We are ready’ for another Olympics, Utah lawmaker says at first legislative oversight meeting (Deseret News)
  • Gov. Cox’s picks to oversee Utah higher education approved by Senate (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah Senate confirms Brian Steed as state's first-ever Great Salt Lake commissioner (UPR)
  • What do Utahns think of the state’s abortion laws? (Deseret News)
  • West Haven votes to recognize Juneteenth, Plain City still doesn’t (Standard-Examiner)

Election news

  • This PAC encourages conservative women to run for office in Utah (KSL Newsradio)
  • Utah’s 2nd Congressional District special election by the numbers (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • ABC4 to live stream Congressional District 2 debate (ABC4)

General Utah news

  • Frozen strawberry products recalled due to possible hepatitis A risks (Deseret News)
  • Annual report ranks Utah 2nd in overall child well-being (ABC4)
  • Adaptive baseball night in Herriman invites kids with all abilities to play ball (Fox13)


  • Is AI hurting workplace productivity? (Deseret News)
  • What Greek mythology has taught Utah's attorney general about navigating the rise of AI (KSL)
  • Can business reinvent itself? Meet the futurist and thought leader who’s optimistic about what’s to come (Deseret News)


  • Juneteenth events at USU wrap up this weekend (Cache Valley Daily)
  • Here's where to celebrate Juneteenth in Utah (KSL)
  • Juneteenth is primed for Utahns of color to explore their family history and traditions (KUER)
  • Indigenous Utahns relieved after Supreme Court upholds Indian Child Welfare Act (KUER)


  • Impact of pandemic on education in Utah lower than most of country (KSL TV)
  • How can Utah solve its pandemic learning gap? (Salt Lake Tribune)
  • Utah health scholars bring ‘dedication and compassion’ to post-combat veterans (St. George News)
  • Mars is the goal, but first, these students must conquer Utah’s red desert (KUER)


  • University of Utah study: Great Salt Lake dust on snow helped hasten melt 17 days early (Deseret News)


  • The state of fatherhood in America — and what can be done to make it better (Deseret News)
  • ‘Fatherhood is a joy almost undeserved’ (Deseret News)
  • Insufficient funding, resources hindering fight against domestic violence in Utah (KUTV)


  • New report names Utah the healthiest state for seniors. Here’s why (Deseret News)
  • New CDC report: Death rates up among youth and young adults. The United States has seen an increase in homicide and suicide death rates in people ages 10-24 (Deseret News)
  • Getting enough shuteye at night may be a matter of life and death (Deseret News)


  • Iron County homeless population likely to see increase as temperatures rise; how can locals help? (St. George News)

National Headlines


  • Former morgue manager at Harvard Medical School charged with stealing, selling body parts (Deseret News)
  • American arrested for pushing 2 US tourists into ravine at German castle, leaving one woman dead (AP)
  • Black Americans more upbeat but fear worsening racism, poll finds (Washington Post)


  • The end of the elites. Populism is rising around the world. Did liberalism fail? And if so, what’s next? (Deseret News)
  • Rishi Sunak’s visit to D.C. highlights importance of the U.S.-U.K. relationship (Deseret News)
  • Trump’s promise of payback for prosecution follows years of attacking democratic traditions (AP)
  • A Russian ransomware gang breaches the Energy Department and other federal agencies (AP)
  • See how the G.O.P. has reacted to the Trump indictment. More than half of the Republicans in Congress have made public statements about former President Trump’s federal indictment. Most are not pleased. (New York Times)

Ukraine 🇺🇦

  • Estonia in the line of fire. As the war with Ukraine carries on, a tiny Baltic nation worries it could be next (Deseret News)
  • Visually impaired people in Ukraine struggle to cope during Russian missile attacks (AP)
  • Missiles target Kyiv as visiting African leaders push Ukraine and Russia for peace and grain (AP)
  • Pentagon predicts Ukraine offensive will be long and ‘very violent’ (Washington Post)
  • U.S.-trained Ukrainian pilot who died in combat had been eager to get back into the fight (Politico)


  • Thousands of Sudanese fleeing fighting with no travel documents trapped on the border with Egypt (AP)
  • Tunisians mourn a hard-fought freedom slipping away: freedom of expression (New York Times)

News Releases

Lt. Gov. Deidre M. Henderson applauds Supreme Court decision to uphold ICWA

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson issued this statement following the Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday to uphold the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA):

Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the incalculable value of Native American children to tribal nations in Utah and across the country.

SCOTUS voted 7-2 to affirm the constitutionality of the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, which rightly sought to keep Native American families and children whole. The state of Utah has always supported ICWA and filed an amicus brief in its defense with 25 other states. (Read More)

Romney, colleagues urge administration to take immediate action on passport delays

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) today joined Senators Rick Scott (R-FL), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Crapo (R-ID), John Barasso, M.D. (R-WY), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Katie Britt (R-AL), Ted Budd (R-NC), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), JD Vance (R-OH), Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Deb Fischer (R-NE) in sending a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging him to take immediate action to resolve the massive, unacceptable backlog of passport applications. In the letter, the senators note countless reports from Americans in their states regarding issues and concerns with delayed wait times, lack of available in-person appointments, and an inability to communicate with passport agencies. (Read More)

Romney, Fischer lead colleagues in introducing legislation to bolster Sentinel program and US nuclear deterrence

U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE), Ranking Member of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, joined by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), John Barrasso (R-WY), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), and Steve Daines (R-MT), today introduced the Sentinel Nuclear Deterrence Act of 2023, legislation to strengthen and solidify the Sentinel program, which is vital to U.S. nuclear deterrence. The legislation would provide multiyear procurement authority for LGM-35A Sentinel intercontinental ballistic missiles, help to stabilize key supply chains, and increase program efficiency. (Read More)

United Utah Party announces special convention for CD2

The United Utah Party will hold a special convention of party members from the 2nd Congressional District on Tuesday, June 27th at 7:00pm, where delegates will decide who will represent the UUP on the ballot in the special election this fall.  “Competition creates excellence,” said Ladd Johnson, UUP Chair. “One of the biggest goals of the UUP is to bring viable competition to Utah races, and that begins within our own ranks. We’re excited to be providing good options to our delegates at this convention and to Utah as a whole this fall.” (Read More)

UVU President Astrid S. Tuminez appointed to Carnegie Postsecondary Commission

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, in partnership with the XQ Institute, today announced President Astrid S. Tuminez as one of the newly established Carnegie Postsecondary Commission members.

The Commission is composed of diverse leaders in higher education and K12. Its goal is to identify the most effective ways to help millions of low-income, underrepresented, and first-generation college students achieve their postsecondary education goals and secure meaningful careers.

For the next two years, Commission members will focus on scalable, affordable, and career-aligned higher education models; technology-powered teaching and learning methods; pathways that blur the boundaries between secondary, postsecondary, and work; and policy ideas that promote equity and greater opportunities for low-income, underrepresented, and first-generation students. (Read More)

Leveling the playing field: Senators swing for fair competition in baseball

Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Ted Cruz (R-TX), and Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced a groundbreaking bill to repeal a century-old judicially-created exemption that grants Major League Baseball (MLB) a unique advantage over other professional sports leagues when it comes to antitrust laws. The proposed legislation aims to promote fair competition within baseball and ensure a level playing field for all teams and leagues, particularly in light of recent controversies surrounding the Dodgers Pride Night and the relocation of the All-Star Game from Atlanta. (Read More)

Romney, colleagues’ bipartisan bill to reduce dependence on China and other adversarial nations for critical minerals advances in the Senate

The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has advanced the Intergovernmental Critical Minerals Task Force Act. The bipartisan legislation authored by U.S. Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Gary Peters (D-MI), and James Lankford (R-OK), would reduce the United States’ reliance on China and adversarial nations for critical minerals and now moves to the full Senate for consideration. (Read More)


Number of the Day

Number of the Day, June 16, 2023


Tweet of the Day

Screenshot 2023-06-16 at 7.43.26 AM



  • Bellwether International Symposium on Bridging the Religious Divide with the Utah Council for Citizen Diplomacy — June 16, 9:00 am-3:30 pm, Little America, Register here
  • 3rd Senate Project Debate between Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), sponsored by the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation — June 18, 8:00 pm, Fox News Channel
  • GOP special election convention — June 24, Delta High School
  • United Utah special election convention — June 27, 7:00 pm, Hunter Library
  • Democratic special election convention — June 28
  • Municipal election filing period for cities using ranked choice voting — August 8-15
  • Municipal/Special election primary — Sept 5
  • General election — Nov 21

On This Day In History

  • 1723 - Adam Smith is born. A Scottish economist and moral philosopher, he is well-known for his work “Wealth of Nations.”
  • 1829 - Geronimo, Apache leader and resistance fighter, born in No-doyohn Canon, Mexico
  • 1884 - The first roller coaster in the US opens at Coney Island.
  • 1858 - Abraham Lincoln says "A house divided against itself cannot stand" accepting Illinois Republican Party's nomination for the Senate
  • 1944 - 14 year-old George Stinney (a small Black boy) is executed for the murder of 2 white girls. His trial by an all-white jury lasted one day and deliberations lasted 10 minutes. From his arrest to execution was 83 days.
  • 1945 - First atomic test
  • 1963 - Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova becomes the first woman to travel into space.
  • 2017 - US President Donald Trump reinstates Cuban travel and business restrictions

Quote of the Day

“Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father.”

— Lydia Maria Child

On the Punny Side

Son: "I'll call you later."

Don't call me later, call me Dad.


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