Wyoming Liberty Group
WyLiberty Attorneys File Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of State Campaign Finance Law
CHEYENNE – Wyoming Liberty Group attorneys filed a lawsuit in Wyoming federal court today on behalf of Jennifer Young, Constitution Party candidate for Wyoming Secretary of State, and Don Wills, a Wyoming resident who wishes to contribute money to Young’s campaign, to challenge a state campaign finance law as discriminatory and censorious of free speech.
“Republican and Democratic candidates can raise money for state primary races and, by extension, the general election,” said Steve Klein, WyLiberty staff attorney. “But candidates like Young, who are nominated through party convention and do not run in a primary, cannot raise a dime until after the primary date. This is censorship, plain and simple.”
A similarly worded Colorado law was recently ruled unconstitutional by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over Wyoming. The new lawsuit also challenges part of Wyoming law that allows major party candidates to raise twice as much money from an individual contributor in a given race.
“A major party candidate can raise up to $1,000 from a contributor for a primary election, then raise another $1,000 from the same contributor for the general election,” said Benjamin Barr, counsel to WyLiberty. “The advantages of identifying with a major party are already staggering, and the law helps protect their monopoly.”
Young will face the winner of the Republican primary in the general election, a race with four contenders.
“A contentious and well-publicized race is already under way, but neither Young nor Wills can meaningfully participate until after the August primary,” said Boyd Wiggam, counsel on the case. “We hope to resolve this matter quickly on behalf of candidates, contributors and voters alike.”
WyLiberty plans to file for preliminary injunction in the case to immediately allow third party and independent candidates to raise and accept funds.
Steve Klein, staff attorney, 307-632-7020