As former legislators of the State of Wyoming, we still take a keen interest in what is happening in the politics of Wyoming. We jointly raise our voices in concern regarding what is …
As former legislators of the State of Wyoming, we still take a keen interest in what is happening in the politics of Wyoming. We jointly raise our voices in concern regarding what is transpiring in our state.
We believe we are approaching a constitutional crisis. Our concerns are that two of Wyoming branches of government (judicial and legislative) are unresponsive to the citizens.
The judicial branch is closed to the people. Most hearings are being held on private video with no notice to the public. The computer system used by the judicial branch for public access, WyUser, is not an open system.
Additionally, the Wyoming Supreme Court has closed the judicial system to jury trials. The people of Wyoming are being denied access to the courts. The accused are being denied the critical right to a speedy trial by jury. Civil cases are being delayed, possibly for years.
Secondly, the leadership of our Legislature wants to run a session virtually which, in all reality, greatly blocks public access of the people to the legislative branch of government. To many citizens, Zoom legislative committees are not accessible. Citizens are required to sign up in advance of the meeting and write their position to get access to speak in a committee meeting.
A citizen who sees something wrong on a taped delay committee meeting can not join and make public comment, as he did not sign up in advance. This is not equal access. This is not the participatory government envisioned by our founders. Also, if someone were to bring suit regarding the constitutionality of a quorum where legislators are virtually present, the litigant could not have a jury of Wyoming people.
The Legislature is intended to be the people’s house. In a virtual session, where will the virtual people be? How can a citizen access their legislators in a virtual session? How is a citizen to attend an unplanned meeting? How will virtual legislators crowd around a virtual rules committee to hear virtual discussion on rules? The people should not be treated as virtual participants. A virtual government is an actual mockery of “a government by the people.”
The founders made constitutional provisions to prevent what is happening here in our Legislature.
The provisions of the constitution are enacted to allow the people to participate in a legitimate process. We call upon the courts and the Legislature to adhere to constitutional requirements. The Wyoming state government closed to the people is behaving contrary to our constitution.
We pray that you, the leaders of the executive, judicial and both houses of our Legislature put the citizens back into the participatory government described and prescribed by our beautiful Wyoming Constitution.