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Meet Utah's New Attorney General, Sean Reyes

By Jenny Tsay, Esq. on January 14, 2014 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Sean Reyes, Utah's new attorney general, is the first ethnic minority to hold a state position in recent memory. Reyes is a Filipino-American with previous political and legal ties to the Utah community, according to The Salt Lake City Tribune.

Reyes was sworn in following John Swallow's resignation over bribery allegations. Although Reyes has been in office for less than a month, he's already making waves for representing Utah in the legal drama surrounding the same-sex marriage ban.

Reyes is also the first ethnic minority to be sworn in as Utah's attorney general. Reyes earned his undergraduate degree at Utah's Brigham Young University and later earned his J.D. from U.C. Berkeley. You'd think that attending such a liberal law school would sway Reyes's political leanings, but instead he served as a delegate for the Republican Party and is a member of the State Central Committee, which is the governing body of the Utah Republican Party, according to Reyes's website.

In addition to being the first attorney general who's an ethnic minority, he was also the first minority lawyer to make partner at Parsons Behle and Latimer, which is the largest law firm in Utah. Reyes has also served as a small claims judge, states his website.

Reyes will serve as Utah's attorney general until a special election can be held in November 2014, according to The Associated Press.

Same-Sex Marriage Hearings

Reyes was sworn in as attorney general right as the federal district court rulings on Amendment Three were heating up. Although Reyes hasn't outright stated his viewpoint on same-sex marriage, he is assisting the state in its attempts to stay Judge Robert J. Shelby's decision to quash the ban.

With the nation's attention focused on the ever changing status of Utah's gay marriage ban, Reyes's next move will be seen in the Tenth Circuit when briefing on the emergency stay is set to begin at the end of January.

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