Today the Wyoming Supreme Court issued its decision in the case of Gordon v. State of Wyoming. The Supreme Court reversed the District Court, which had rejected the Treasurer’s challenge to the Capitol restoration legislation, and remanded the case to the District Court for further proceedings.
In a 4-1 decision, the Court found the statutes passed by the Legislature to oversee the project did not provide for the Treasurer’s “narrow constitutional check on the legislature’s ability to spend on its own halls and rooms.” The Court further specified that the Treasurer’s approval is not required for all work on the project and provided many examples of aspects of the project not subject to his approval. Further proceedings in the District Court will, in the Court’s words, “wrestle with” what parts of the project are within the narrow scope of the Treasurer’s review. The project is moving toward completion next year and work will continue.
Chief Justice Burke in a dissenting opinion would have upheld the District Court finding that the statutes on their face were constitutional.
“I, as always, appreciate the work of the Wyoming Supreme Court. They have issued a thoughtful opinion in a complex case. They have recognized the honest effort of the Legislature to deal with this Herculean endeavor,” said Governor Mead, who is a member of the Capitol Restoration Oversight Group but is not a named party in the case.
The Capitol project is a huge undertaking, begun years ago under then-Treasurer Joe Meyer. The Oversight Group has taken every aspect of the project seriously. Meetings are open to the public and well-attended, records are available, and every action has been deliberate and transparent.
“The Capitol is the most important building in the State, inspiring to look at and to visit – the repository of our state’s history past, present and future,” added Governor Mead. “Completing the restoration of this historic landmark is essential so the Capitol building can once again be open and available for all to see and enjoy.”
Click here to read the Court’s decision.