The Constitutionality of the Utah Legal Tender Act
10 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2015
Date Written: July 24, 2012
In March, 2011, Utah’s Governor Gary Herbert signed into law the Utah Legal Tender Act, which purports to make some gold and silver coins legal tender in the state of Utah. This paper addresses the effect of that law and its constitutionality. It concludes that the act does not violate the Constitution’s provisions regulating state monetary authority, is not preempted, and is not a violation of the dormant Commerce Clause. One of the chief reasons for this is that the Utah Legal Tender Act does not truly create a new form of state legal tender in the traditional sense. Broader legislation may confront a different set of issues.
Keywords: gold, silver, utah, legal tender, preemption, dormant commerce
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