Mormon church, state and alcohol laws to mix in federal courtroom

A federal judge will hear arguments Monday over a lawsuit challenging changes to Utah liquor laws that the Utah Hospitality Association says were made under pressure from the LDS Church.

State attorneys have asked U.S. District Judge Bruce Jenkins to dismiss the complaint, arguing that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offering its views on alcohol policy to state lawmakers does not violate the state or federal constitution.

"The LDS Church did not dictate law," wrote assistant attorney general Kyle J. Kaiser. "And even if some of the legislators were acting from some sectarian dictate, that does not mean the statute is unconstitutional."

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