Judicial Committee (2020-2022)

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The Judicial Committee is the final avenue of appeal, giving due process beyond the LNC for several enumerated areas of subject matter jurisdiction.

Members

Cases

In re: The Suspension of LNC Secretary Caryn Ann Harlos

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Background

At the September 4-5, 2021 meeting of the Libertarian National Committee, Caryn Ann Harlos was suspended from her position as Secretary of the national Libertarian Party by a vote of 11-2 with one abstention. Voting "Yes": Erin Adams, Whitney Bilyeu, Laura Ebke, TJ Ferreira, Tim Hagan, Susan Hogarth, Chris Luchini, John Phillips, Richard Longstreth, Valerie Sarwark, and David Sexton. Voting "No": Rich Bowen and Dustin Nanna. Ken Moellman abstained. Absent: Erik Raudsep and Joshua Smith who were both confirmed "no" or "abstain" votes (though as the vote required two-thirds of the entire LNC, rather than two-thirds of those present and voting, it would not have changed the outcome if they were present.) A controversy arose when alternate David Sexton showed up after the departure of Steven Nekhaila who was a confirmed "no" or "abstain" vote without notifying Mr. Nekhaila that he intended to do same. If Mr. Sexton had not appeared, the motion would have failed. Supporters of the motion state that this was perfectly acceptable. Caryn Ann states that it was certainly legal but characterized it as "trickery." Meeting video is located here. Caryn Ann appealed her suspension on the following grounds:

  • Failure to provide adequate due process
  • Failure to provide evidence of action that rises to the level of a removable offense
  • Failure to substantiate allegation that Petitioner violated the Non-Aggression Pledge
  • Failure to substantiate allegations that the Petitioner violated the social media policy or the conflict of interest policy in the Policy Manual in effect at the time of the suspension
  • Retaliation against a whistleblower
  • Dirty hands on the part of the accusers

She has announced she will be running in Reno for either re-election or re-instatement. She also claims she had received more emails in support than anyone else in Party history, claiming the number is over 1,000.

Hearing Date: October 17, 2021

At the hearing, Judicial Committee Chair Mary Ruwart strongly urged the parties to resolve this between themselves prior to a ruling. To that end, immediately after the hearing Caryn Ann Harlos contacted Whitney Bilyeu but did not receive a response. Due to the short time frame, and presuming Ms. Bilyeu was tied up in other matters, Ms. Harlos approached other LNC members, notably Steven Nekhaila to work out proposed language for a compromise.

Request for Settlement Prior to Ruling

Judicial Committee Chair Mary Ruwart with great feeling asked the parties to resolve this between themselves prior to the JC releasing a decision. To that end, Caryn Ann Harlos wrote to Party chair Whitney Bilyeu right as the hearing ended and did not receive a response. She then reached out to Steven Nekhaila, Rich Bowen, Erik Raudsep, Joshua Smith, Dustin Nanna, and Ken Moellman and hammered out a compromise motion which was presented to the LNC. It was ruled out of order multiple times for procedural reasons with people disagreeing on whether or not the reasons were sound or designed to kill the motions. Susan Hogarth raised a point of order the first time the motions were presented but did not re-submit the point of order on subsequent introductions. Caryn Ann Harlos and the LNC sponsors have made it clear that the compromise motions were made due to the Ruwart request and for the good of the Party. Chris Luchini indicated that he would only accept a compromise that involved Harlos resigning and going away, and he would "let" her keep her committee seats. Virtually no one responded positively to that suggestion though those discussions were in private and not on the business discussion list.


You can view the LNC discussion threads with the language of the proposed motions as they evolved and the debates here. The last iteration is waiting full sponsorship. The Judicial Committee has stated it will release its decision on November 13, 2021 if a settlement is not reached by November 12, 2021.

Representing the Petitioner

Representing the LNC

Filings of Petitioner Caryn Ann Harlos

Filings of LNC

Filings of Amicus Curiae

Other Related Documents and Filings

Video of Hearing Mirrored by Justin O'Donnell

Commentary on Suspension

Video Extracts

Related Documents

Decision

Commentary on Decision

Filling of Vacancy

Nominations were opened on November 26, 2021, and the following were nominated:

References