“Civil, or what I would call uncivil, disobedience,” said U.S. Attorney for Utah John Huber, “is a fad.” In a talk that kicked off Constitution Week, Huber stressed that citizens feel the imminent need to save the planet and feel that the law can only go so far. in reality, Huber said, there are countless ways to represent their opinions within what he called the “safe harbor of the rule of law.”
Constitution Week celebrations at Weber State University began on the anniversary of the day the final draft of the Constitution was signed. Huber, who works for the Department of Justice, gave the first of two talks, in which he emphasized the need to advocate changing unjust laws and to do so lawfully.
“The impatient choose the unlawful route,” Huber said.
Multiple county commissioners, including Weber County Commissioner James Harvey, attended the opening talks.
Huber, a University of Utah Alumnus, began his career right here in Weber County after having been raised in Magna. He moved up as a prosecutor from 1994–1996 until he went to the state level. In his current position, he said he has been privileged to work under “two President’s Administrations, met both of them and advised two US Attorneys General of two different parties.”
Huber was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate. When the elections were over and the turnover to a new president began, Huber handed in his letter of resignation in anticipation of President Donald Trump’s effort to clean out all who advised and worked under President Obama.
To his surprise, mentors and friends of his in the Senate and other advisory positions convinced Trump that Huber was someone he wanted to keep. Trump met with Huber and re-confirmed him into the administration. Huber went on to say there is “very little” different about the two administrations, and that there are excellent people all the way at the top levels.
“95 percent of the stuff we agree on,” Huber said.
In his current position, Huber is one of 55 attorneys who look into cases referred to them from all levels of jurisdictions: anywhere from Ogden City Police to the FBI, from Homeland Security to the FDA.
“We don’t have an obligation to do street crime,” Huber said with a smile, “We just take the cases we want.”
He went on to say that a majority of the cases referred to them from cities are drug and gang cases. In many such cases, they trace evidence back to the first origin, which, Huber said, is usually Mexico or China.
Because of their national ranking, they have the jurisdiction to follow evidence that far and to interact with other nations’ law enforcement to resolve such situations. Recently, however, Huber said America is facing a different situation.
“America is really suffering from a rise in violent crime,” Huber said, “3-5% raise nationally, and 14-18% raise in Utah.”
Huber advised everyone to exercise patience and tolerance when handling laws and when forming opinions about them. Huber cited John Locke, saying, “Where there is no law, there is no freedom,” to emphasize the importance of law and of disputing civilly.
Huber closed his speech on a high note, however, seeking to remind the audience that they lived in a great nation.
“We do live in the greatest nation the earth has ever seen,” Huber said, “and likely ever will.”