JACKSON., Wyo. — On Nov. 30, Teton County’s Ninth Judicial District Judge Melissa Owens denied the motion to intervene requested by two Wyoming lawmakers and an anti-abortion advocacy group in the Johnson v. State of Wyoming case.

Johnson v. State of Wyoming is challenging the constitutionality of Wyoming House Bill 92, which became effective on July 27, when the U.S. Supreme Court repealed Roe v. Wade.

On July 27, Owens issued a temporary stay on the enforcement of the law. Then on Aug. 10, the court entered an order granting a preliminary injunction while the case is pending, effectively keeping abortion legal in the state until the case is resolved.

Wyoming Representatives Rachel Rodriguez-Williams (R-Cody) and Representative Chip Neiman (R-Hulett), along with Right to Life Wyoming (RTLW) filed a motion to intervene on Aug. 16. A hearing was held on Nov. 21, where the parties argued their right to intervene and Owens ultimately decided she would need one to two weeks to decide on the matter.

Rodriguez-Williams and Neiman were co-sponsors of House Bill 92 and RTLW was the lead lobbyist of the bill. All three argue that they have a significant protectable interest in the case and that the State was not adequately representing their arguments.

According to the document,” the court finds that the applicants and the state defendants have the same objective in this case…when an intervenor has the same objective as an existing party, there is a presumption that the intervenor’s interests are adequately represented.”

Owens concluded, writing, “The Court is sympathetic to the Applicants’ desire to intervene in this matter, as advocates and lawmakers, the Court recognizes that the issues before the court strike at the very heart of RTLW’s advocacy efforts as well as the individual Legislators’ personal convictions and legislative efforts. However, the applicant’s interests do not rise to the level of significant protectable interest under the law.”

On the same day, Owens sent the case to the Supreme Court. The Court has 30 days to decide to accept the case or not.

Buckrail @ Lindsay

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.