Constitution Party asks to settle ‘Count My Vote compromise’ lawsuit

Posted at 6:08 PM, Jul 31, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-01 13:02:43-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Constitution Party of Utah is asking a federal judge to let it enter into settlement talks in a lawsuit over Senate Bill 54, the so-called “Count My Vote compromise” law.

The request came as news to the Utah Republican Party, which has taken the lead in suing the state over the new law that creates an alternative path to the caucus/convention system for candidates to get on the ballot.

In a federal court filing Friday afternoon obtained by FOX 13, lawyers for the Constitution Party asked U.S. District Court Judge David Nuffer to involve a magistrate judge to craft a settlement over SB54.

“It is the opinion of the Constitution Party of Utah that the barriers to settlement are surmountable. It will merely take energy and resolve to reach settlement,” party lawyers wrote.

Read the filing here:

The Utah Republican Party sued the governor and the state over SB 54, which allows candidates to get on the ballot if they gather enough signatures, skipping the caucus/convention system the GOP prefers. All political parties must comply with the law if they want their candidates on the ballot in 2016, and the Utah Republican Party will vote on it on August 15.

In past court filings, the GOP has threatened that it might not be able to have Republicans on the 2016 ballot and said SB54 would “destroy” the party. They are suing, claiming SB54 infringes upon the party’s constitutional right to free association. A federal judge has rejected efforts to halt the law from going into effect.

Utah Republican Party Executive Director Julian Babbitt told FOX 13 on Friday the party was moving ahead with its lawsuit.