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Utah GOP lawyer disputes missed deadlines; state wants summary judgment

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Posted at 6:38 PM, Oct 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-20 20:38:28-04

SALT LAKE CITY — An attorney representing the Utah Republican Party disputed a judge’s claim that a series of deadlines had been missed in the ongoing lawsuit over the state’s so-called “Count My Vote compromise” law.

Utah GOP attorney Marcus Mumford said there was a “double standard” with the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

“All the while, we have shown in briefing how Defendants have not complied with the substantive rules concerning motions and misled the Court on issues of substance to this case. I will leave it to the Court to determine what kind of double standard Defendants’ counsel are able to carve out for themselves. But I would ask the Court to correct its misstatements of record,” Mumford wrote.

Mumford was responding to U.S. District Court Judge David Nuffer’s demand that he explain missed deadlines in the case. The judge had previously threatened contempt. Mumford acknowledged missing one deadline, but pointed to”unanticipated exigencies at work” and a recent family medical emergency.

Read the filing by the Utah GOP here:

Meanwhile, the Utah Attorney General’s Office asked Judge Nuffer for summary judgment in its favor again, claiming it “should not be subject to the expense of preparing for and participating in a trial because (the Utah Republican Party) has not identified any evidence demonstrating that the statute severely burdens its constitutional rights.”

Read the filing by the Utah Attorney General’s Office here:

The Utah GOP is suing the state over Senate Bill 54, which was crafted by the Utah State Legislature as a compromise over the “Count My Vote” ballot initiative. The new law creates an alternative path for political candidates to get on the ballot, if they gather enough signatures as opposed to the caucus/convention system favored by some political parties like the Utah GOP.

The Utah Republican Party contends SB54 violates its First Amendment right to free association. Judge Nuffer has scheduled a hearing on Oct. 27 to hear motions in the case.