Why Was the CDC Created?

The Constitutional Defense Council (CDC) was created to assist the Governor and the Legislature with constitutional issues affecting State’s rights. (Utah Code § 63C-4a-203). Utah’s policy for public lands is

to claim and preserve by lawful means the rights of the state and its citizens to determine and affect the disposition and use of federal lands within the state as those rights are granted by the United States Constitution, the Utah Enabling Act, and other applicable law. Utah Code § 63C-4a-103

CDC keeps track of the federal legislation, regulations, mandates, and court rulings that could impact powers and rights reserved to the State by the United States Constitution.

What Does the CDC Do?

Some of the CDC’s key duties include:

  • Advising the governor, the state planning coordinator, and the public lands policy coordinator on coordination of state and local rights under R.S. 2477 and approving a plan for the protection, litigation and confirmation of those rights.
  • Formulating legal strategies to further the State’s public lands policy.
  • Generally advising on public lands issues.
  • Assisting with disagreements with other states over use or ownership of water.
  • Directing the Utah Attorney General to initiate and prosecute any action that the council determines will further its statutory purposes.

See Utah Code § 64C-4a-203 for a complete description of CDC’s duties.

CDC Meetings

CDC must meet monthly or more frequently unless the majority of the members agree not to meet. See Utah Code § 63C-2a-202(4). View past meetings minutes and agendas by clicking on meeting titles in Past Public Meetings schedule below. To subscribe to this body visit Public Notice Website.

CDC Members (Utah Code § 63C-4a-202(2)(a))

Chair: the governor or the lieutenant governor
Vice Chair: Senate president (or designee)
Vice Chair: House speaker (or designee)

  1. Senate minority leader (or designee)
  2. House minority leader (or designee)
  3. member of the House (appointed by House speaker)
  4. attorney general (or designee)
  5. director of the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration
  6. four county commissioners, county council members, or county executives

Non-Voting Members:

  1. executive director of the Department of Natural Resources
  2. commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Food
  3. director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development
  4. two county commissioners, county council members, or county executives
View CDC Membership RosterCurrent as of June 25, 2015.

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