A Laramie County District Court judge scheduled a March 18 hearing to handle matters related to the successful lawsuit filed by state Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill, Chief Deputy Clerk Diane Sanchez said Monday.
It’s the first action from the court now handling proceedings for the lawsuit, in which Hill and two supporters argued a 2013 law that removed much of her power was unconstitutional.
The Wyoming Supreme Court ruled the law unconstitutional Jan. 28.
Sent to District court
After denying a petition from the state to rehear the case, the Supreme Court sent the matter to the district court, where the lawsuit was originally filed.
The Supreme Court directed the District court to issue a final order “consistent” with the opinion.
“We have no doubt that the District court is capable of dealing with all further issues,” the high court said in its order denying the state’s petition for rehearing.
Whether Judge Thomas Campbell will write a final order at the March 18 hearing remains unclear.
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Sanchez said she could not comment on what the hearing would determine but said she knew of no limit to how long the judge can take in writing the order.
Hill tried to resume her former duties at the Wyoming Department of Education in Cheyenne on Monday. She said the Supreme Court has ruled twice in her favor and she needs no further assurance that the job is rightfully hers.
But Hill won’t get her old job back until the district court issues a final order, Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael said in a Friday letter to Richard Crandall, the governor-appointed head of the Department of Education.
“It goes without saying ... that when the law does change it will be incumbent upon you (Crandall) to comply faithfully and ensure a smooth transition in the public interest,” Michael said in the letter.
Crandall could return to his family’s nutrition companies once the district court reverses the law that created his appointed position. He has no regrets about moving to Wyoming, he said. Crandall said he understood before interviewing for the job that a lawsuit could eliminate the position.
Hill, a Republican, was elected superintendent in 2010. Her term expires this year. Hill will challenge Mead, also a Republican, for his seat in the Aug. 19 GOP primary.