Wyoming Man Suing To Keep Trump Off Ballot OK With Former President Joining Lawsuit

A retired attorney in Wyoming sparred Tuesday with Trump about whether the former president can stay on the state’s ballot - as the Colorado Supreme Court removed Trump from its state ballot.

Clair McFarland

December 19, 20235 min read

Trump rally 12 19 23
(Getty Images)

The retired attorney from Laramie, Wyoming, who is suing to keep former President Donald Trump and U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis of the state’s election ballots, forever, filed a response Tuesday objecting to Trump’s request that the court dismiss the case. 

The filing emerged just as the Colorado Supreme Court scrubbed Trump from its state ballot Tuesday, under the insurrection clause of the U.S. Constitution.

Trump asked last week to intervene in the Wyoming case challenging his fitness to be on the Wyoming election ballot. In that one, retired attorney Tim Newcomb filed a Nov. 1 petition asking Albany County District Court Judge Misha Westby to bar Trump and Lummis from the state’s election ballots as “traitors” under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. 

Trump wrote in his motion to dismiss the case that Newcomb lacks standing, misinterpreted the 14th Amendment and filed a meandering and “frivolous” lawsuit. 

Westby has not yet ruled about letting Trump into the case or whether to dismiss it, the court file indicates. 

In a Tuesday response obtained by Cowboy State Daily, Newcomb says he does not object to Trump joining the case, but he does object to Trump having the case dismissed. 

Treachery Alleged

Newcomb hopes for a hearing to weigh the issues. 

“(My) Complaint … grounds the two facts required by the 14th Amendment to disqualify traitors from ever again holding office,” Newcomb wrote in his Tuesday filing.

He then accuses Trump and Lummis of treachery and giving comfort to the United States’ enemies despite their oaths to the U.S. Constitution.

His complaint had linked these accusations to Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, and Lummis’ objection to the certification of the Pennsylvania 2020 electoral ballots. Lummis at the time said she wanted time to vet the soundness of the 2020 election and was concerned that the state’s mail-in voting scheme could be unconstitutional.

Newcomb’s Tuesday response points to Trump’s criminal case, a final report to the Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, foreign intelligence reports and his own Nov. 1 complaint. 

Newcomb countered arguments by both Trump and Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray, who labelled his complaint as meandering and lacking in legal logic, in part for its presentation of outside links to videos, including a superhero montage. 

He asked the court to “reserve judgment until the meaningful opportunity to be heard allows (me) to demonstrate relevance and admissibility of adjudicative facts,” and added that many of his exterior links direct to mainstream news stories. 

Tim Newcomb
Tim Newcomb (Via Linkedin)

And There’s The GOP

The Wyoming Republican Party also asked permission to intervene in the lawsuit, and asked the judge to dismiss it, in a Dec. 13 set of filings. 

Newcomb doesn’t object to the Wyoming Republican Party joining the lawsuit either, he wrote, adding he doesn’t expect that the Wyoming Democratic Party will intervene.

The Wyoming Republican Party claims that Newcomb lacks standing and that he is asking the 14th Amendment to function in a way that its language does not allow. 

“He still nonetheless utterly fails to identify any specific injury that he has experienced,” says the GOP’s motion to dismiss the case.

To show they have standing in civil cases, plaintiffs must allege some injury that is particular to them, which “is fatal to his suit.”

The motion also says that Congress gave itself the power – rather than state courts – to enforce the 14thAmendment’s provision barring people from holding office after betraying the nation. The provision also does not specify that it applies to the president of the United States. 

Lastly, the Republican Party says that if the court chose to enforce Newcomb’s requests, it would violate political parties’ rights of free association under the First and 14th Amendments. 

Brian Shuck, of Cheyenne, filed the motion on behalf of the Wyoming Republican Party. 

 A Section On Street Cred

Newcomb’s response to Trump’s motion to dismiss addresses his critics’ emphasis on his status as a retired attorney no longer practicing. 

He wrote that he received his juris doctorate from the University of Wyoming and an LLM from New York University. He co-authored an annotated reference to the Wyoming Constitution at NYU, which the Oxford University Press later published, the filing says. 

He returned to Wyoming to clerk for the chief justice of the Wyoming Supreme Court, then later returned to Laramie as an appellate lawyer, the filing says. 

He retired to finish a seven-year project, but his oath to the Constitution “still astrides me,” he wrote. 

“I realize I am a retired country lawyer appearing pro se,” the filing concludes. 

Clair McFarland can be reached at clair@cowboystatedaily.com.

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter