California Judicial Committee May 2019 Appeal of Convention Action Regarding Platform

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At the 2019 Annual Convention of the Libertarian Party of California, the Platform Committee had recommended deletion of the entire extant platform and replacing it with the national platform. The platform was deleted, but the attempt to adopt the national platform was unsuccessful leaving the LPC with no platform. Several members appealed the deletion of the Platform to the LPC Judicial Committee.



  • Appeal Filed: 11 May 2019
  • Due date for written arguments: 2 June 2019
  • Due date for supplementary written statements: 7 June 2019
  • Hearing: 9 June 2019 10:00am (telephone conference)
  • Ruling: 10 June 2019
  • Report: 23 June 2019


It became a fact on record that Caryn Ann Harlos assisted in authoring the appeal brief while not joining as a party to the appeal.


Members of Judicial Committee

Submissions to the Committee

Related Documents

Hearing Details

Announced Agenda

  1. Opening statements by the appellants and respondents, in that order.
  2. Questions for either side from members of the Judicial Committee.
  3. Opportunity for other interested parties to make comments.
  4. Closing statements by the appellants and respondents, again in that order.

Time limits: Opening and closing statements combined will be limited to one hour for each side. Each side may divide that time as they wish between their opening and closing statement. Comments from other interested parties will be limited to 5 minutes per person.


Judicial Committee


Note: During the period for questions from the Judicial Committee, there was a failure of the connection being used by the Chair and which was also being used for the recording, which resulted in the connection having to be re-established and the recording re-started. The two files for that section of the meeting represent the portion before that interruption and the portion after.



The ruling of the Judicial Committee in this matter is that the action of the 2019 Convention regarding the Platform was not consistent with the governing documents of the LPC and is therefore overturned.

The effect of this ruling is that the Platform that was current at the start of that convention remains the current Platform.

The Judicial Committee plans to issue a report which will include additional information about this ruling, including details of the committee vote and explanations from various members about why they voted as they did.

Thank you to everybody who put time and effort into helping us make this decision, including those who contributed written arguments and made presentations during the hearing.



Multiple members were upset at the ruling and formed the Reform Caucus of California in response. Others alleged that character assassination was occurring with one active member actively considering whether further involvement in the Party was worthwhile as they felt that the culture is becoming unbearably toxic and breeds the politics of personal destruction. The dispute has been framed by those disagreeing with the decision as an internal party struggle between a social club model versus an effective political organization. Supporters have denied this charge and point to statements made that indicate a fundamental disagreement with historic Libertarian positions (such as oppositions to all licensing, including drivers' licenses) not a dispute over organizational structure. Kevin Shaw had submitted a much shorter platform re-write that retained all of the principles, but this submission was rejected outright by the Platform Committee which can be interpreted to give support to the charge that the issue is actual policy and not methodology.