Natrona County Republican Party Files Lawsuit Against Wyoming GOP in Supreme Court
The Natrona County Republican Party has reasserted its claims that the Wyoming GOP violated the state party's bylaws at its 2020 convention by filing a petition with the Wyoming Supreme Court.
The county party filed the initial notice with the Supreme Court on Aug. 19, and the subsequent documents will echo the previous arguments in similar lawsuit dismissed in June by the Laramie County District Court, Cheyenne attorney Khale Lenhart said. Lenhart is an attorney with the Hirst Applegate firm.
The previous lawsuit asserted that the state party violated its own bylaws at the 2020 convention, which was held on two dates.
Before that, the bylaws said that any amendments to those bylaws required passage by a majority of those elected to the state convention, according to the Natrona GOP's complaint filed on Nov. 12, 2020.
"At the state convention (in 2020), the convention chair decided that passage or failure of bylaw amendments on a majority of those present and voting at the state convention and not those as require by the then existing bylaws."
Some delegates objected, but were overruled.
Because the state convention passed the bylaw amendments incorrectly, they are null and void, according to Roberts Rules of Order, according to the Natrona County Republican Party's complaint.
However, the state party through its attorneys said in its Jan. 12 response to the previous litigation:
- The courts historically have stayed away from dealing with intra-political-party disputes.
- This dispute is about the interpretation of a party's bylaws, and isn't something that the Supreme Court can do anything about.
- The Natrona County Republican Party is not an entity that has the capacity to sue.
- The Natrona County Republican Party "sat on its hands" at the 2020 convention and didn't respond in a timely fashion with the options available under Robert's Rules of Order.
- And at that time, the convention chairman planned to entertain a notion to ratify the 2020 bylaws at the May 2022 convention.
The latter event happened, which made the previous lawsuit moot.
Natrona County Republican Party has 45 days to file its complaint from the Aug. 19 notice, its attorney Lenhart said.
When that happens, the Wyoming Republican Party has 45 days to file its response, he said.