A retired Laramie attorney is asking a state judge to exclude former President Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis from Wyoming’s 2024 election ballot because of their actions after the 2020 presidential election.
However, Lummis is not expected to run in another election, if she wishes, until 2026.
On November 1, Tim Newcomb filed a lawsuit against Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray in Albany County District Court, accusing Trump and Lummis of failing to defend the Constitution and “adhering » to the enemies of the nation.
“Mr. Trump disqualified himself from appearing on the Wyoming ballot when he refused to defend the Constitution’s transfer of presidential power,” Newcomb wrote in his filing. “MS. Lummis disqualified herself from appearing on the Wyoming ballot when she refused to count Pennsylvania election ballots in the electoral count.
A spokesperson for Lummis called the lawsuit “frivolous” and an attempt to undermine the will of voters.
“Any attempt to exclude candidates from the ballot constitutes a direct attack on the freedom to choose their elected officials and undermines the integrity of our elections. Senator Lummis was elected to the United States Senate with more votes than anyone has ever received on a ballot in Wyoming history, so it’s clear that voters in the Cowboy State think that it should be on the ballot,” the spokesperson wrote in an email to Cowboy State on Tuesday. Every day.
Similarly, Secretary of State Chuck Gray condemned the lawsuit, calling it “wrong and repugnant,” and said he was preparing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, in order to stop what he sees as ” “blatant and sweeping attempts to interfere with Wyoming’s elections” and an attack on political power. sanctity of the Constitution and the electoral process.
“We are committed to protecting the integrity of our elections and ensuring that Wyomingites can choose for themselves who to elect,” Gray wrote in a text message to Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday.
Gray and Lummis’ spokeswoman expressed confusion over Lummis’ inclusion in the challenge since she is not up for re-election in 2024.
Do not work elsewhere
Newcomb is not the first nationwide legal challenge to attempt to invoke Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution to exclude Trump from the ballot.
A federal court in Florida and the Minnesota Supreme Court both rejected those challenges. The U.S. Supreme Court last month declined to rule on whether the 14th The amendment prevents Trump from appearing on the ballot, an issue that has sparked heated debate in legal circles.
Newcomb’s filing accuses Trump of coddling and colluding with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He also discusses the Capitol riot of January 6, 2021 and the events leading up to it, claiming that Trump started the riots by “spreading lies that there was decisive fraud in the election and that he had actually won.” .”
The filing cites testimony and the final report presented during congressional hearings investigating the events surrounding January 6, 2021, that indicate Trump stood idly by when he could have stopped the riots.
“For the remainder of the afternoon – as his country faced an hours-long attack – he crouched in or around the dining room, watching television,” the filing says, citing the final report of the committee that investigated the attack.
We are Groot
Newcomb’s allegations contain several quotes and news reports. One paragraph reads: “We are Groot” and links to a YouTube video compilation of the Marvel comic book and movie hero Groot, a talking tree with superpowers.
Newcomb, in an interview Tuesday with Cowboy State Daily, clarified that the reference is considered a constitutional comment.
“In this scene (from the Guardians of the Galaxy movie), everyone is trying to survive and is surrounded by death and destruction, and then Groot grows these impenetrable branches around everyone to protect everyone,” said Newcomb. “And it’s the 14thth Amendment.”
The 14thth Section 3 of the amendment states that no person shall hold any civil or military office in the United States or in any state who, after taking an oath to support the Constitution as a lawmaker, is an “officer of the United States “, or executive or judicial officer of a State, “shall not have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against it, or given aid or comfort to its enemies.
A letter from Lummis
Newcomb’s filing condemns Lummis’ Jan. 6, 2021, objection to the certification of Pennsylvania’s electoral vote, saying the move should disqualify her from appearing on Wyoming’s ballot.
“MS. Lummis betrayed his oath – of her God – when she refused to count her electoral vote,” the filing states.
It also notes that Trump supported Lummis in his last election and that Lummis and other Wyoming delegates publicly chastised the U.S. Department of Justice for indicting Trump.
Lummis, conversely, explained his objection to certification in a press release dated January 9, 2021: Cowboy State Daily opinion article, saying, “Let me be clear: my objection to the certification of the votes in Pennsylvania could not have changed the outcome of the election. That was never my intention.
She also condemned the violence three days earlier.
The junior Republican senator from Wyoming raised concerns in her letter about the integrity of Pennsylvania’s new mail-in voting law and the possibility that Pennsylvania’s election law has been applied unevenly by state officials. State, including signature verification and voter identification requirements.
“Even the chief justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court noted that one of the lawsuits filed in his state raised ‘difficult questions about the constitutional validity of the new mail-in voting system,'” she said.
Lummis noted that 39% of Americans surveyed at the time believed the 2020 election “was rigged.” She also pointed to historical examples where congressional delegates questioned elections that appeared suspect, as well as a federal law allowing delegates to respond to “questions raised” in elections.
Newcomb sued Wyoming in a separate earlier filing on April 27, 2022, which a state district court judge dismissed for failure to present a valid claim.
Newcomb will present a new version of his lawsuit for the next election cycle, he told Cowboy State Daily.
The 2022 lawsuit challenged a portion of the state’s election code that required voters to bring ID to vote. Newcomb said he doesn’t take issue with having to show ID to register to vote, but he said having to bring ID again right before voting is an “impediment ” unconstitutionally restricts Wyoming residents’ voting rights, and he asked District Court Judge Dawnessa Snyder to block enforcement of the law.
Snyder refused to do so and dismissed the case, saying Newcomb failed to show how he would have been harmed by the law or tie that to actual damages.
She also noted that the exact law Newcomb targeted was a definitions or enumeration section describing the types of IDs people can present just before voting, not a section that “prescribes…or proscribes conduct “.
Despite this, Newcomb was able to clarify during a hearing against the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office that he disputed the dual mandate of showing ID to vote.
“After the hearing, the Court identified what appears to be an amorphous philosophical or theoretical question regarding a potential redundancy of requiring Wyoming voters to present identification when registering to vote and again when voting. vote,” Snyder wrote in his Feb. 14 filing. order dismissing the case. “However, Mr. Newcomb provides no specifics about the implications or harms of such a presentation…or even whether harm is likely to occur.”
Claire McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.