Presidential Candidate – Appeal Hearing Decision

Mr. Vadney & LPCO Board,

After reviewing the Judicial Committee appeal by Mr. Sean Vadney on June 16, 2024, the Judicial Committee has decided by a unanimous vote not to hear the appeal. The Judicial Committee reserves the right to hear an appeal or to decline. The appeal, as presented, does not meet the burden of proof for an LPCO bylaw violation.

1. The appeal highlights events and decisions that the appellant believes violate LP National Bylaws. The LPCO Judicial Committee’s scope of duties does not include consideration of LP National Bylaws.

2. Section One – The claim in Section One is that one of the LPCO’s purposes is “nominating serious Party candidates for political office” and the resolution in question blocks this purpose and denies Colorado Party Members and Coloradans the option to vote for a Libertarian Presidential Candidate. The appeal is correct that the LPCO bylaws state that a purpose of the Party is to “nominate serious candidates.” While this statement is in Article II(f), there is no obligation in the LPCO bylaws to nominate any candidates for political office. Therefore, nominations, while a stated purpose of the Party, are decided at the discretion of the LPCO membership at convention and through its representatives on the LPCO Board.

3. Section Two – The appeal is disputing the claim that “the Libertarian Party of Colorado bylaws grant authority over presidential candidate nominations to the board” put forth by Ms. Stienke. Article XI Section 4(a) of the LPCO bylaws states the following: “(a) The United States Supreme Court has recognized that the nomination of candidates—under political party rules—falls under the First Amendment’s Freedom of Association protections and therefore overrides state laws when such rules so state. As such, all rules for nominating candidates are limited to only these Bylaws, and all state laws regarding nominating candidates are to be considered overridden and void. The Party reserves all First Amendment Rights in this regard.” From this statement, the LPCO has sole discretion in nominating candidates as a First Amendment right, whether by the membership of the Party through the state convention or through the LPCO Board.

The current LPCO bylaws do not require granting ballot access to the LP National Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates, leaving the decision to the LPCO membership. Timing is crucial for this decision, as the LP National Convention date will always occur after the LPCO State Convention. Therefore, without a special convention, the decision of placing LP National Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates on the Colorado ballot resides with the LPCO Board as representatives of the LPCO membership.

In liberty,
Eric Bueltel – LPCO Judicial Chair Pro Tem

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