On August 4, attorneys for Wyoming told a U.S. District Court that they will not try to defend a state campaign finance law that discriminates against minor party and independent candidates. The law lets individuals give campaign contributions to a candidate running in a primary early in the election year. But an individual can’t give a campaign contribution to a candidate nominated by convention, or by petition, until August 19 of the election year. The case is Wills v Maxfield, 14-cv-126.
In Wyoming, generally only the Democratic and Republican Parties nominate by primary, and other qualified parties nominate by convention. The case had been brought by the Constitution Party’s nominee for Secretary of State, Jennifer Young, and by an individual who wanted to donate to her campaign immediately.
The law has now been enjoined, and the public interest organization which represented the plaintiffs in court has been awarded $7,424 in attorneys fees. This is the second constitutional election law victory for the Constitution Party in the last thirty days; the earlier one was the Pennsylvania Third Circuit opinion of July 9.
The Constitution Party has other constitutional election law challenges pending in Alabama, Georgia, South Dakota, and Tennessee.