Want to learn more about your constitutional rights and God-given freedoms? Find some great learning topics and lively discussions in this page.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."


"Well regulated" means that a Militia would be organized, equipped, and trained adequately enough to perform the duty required. "To keep" is to own or possess, and "bear" is to carry or wear.


What is the duty then? The answer is in the 2nd Amendment statement…"to secure a free state." Security is a proactive word, therefore, our U.S. Constitution declares that the people will take part in defending the free state.


The Constitution of the State of Wyoming, Article 1,

The true intention of the 2nd Amendment

Section 24: "The Right of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the state shall not be denied.


John Adams said, “Arms in the hands of the citizen may be used at individual discretion for the defense of the country, the overthrow of tyranny, or private self defense.”


It is clear the intention was that any willing and able-bodied person had the right to protect themselves and an obligation to defend the country from foreign and domestic enemies.


If the federal government or a state government diminishes your gun rights it is violating the contract you have agreed to with them.


by Maury "Jonesy" Jones  / Teton County

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separation of powers


Time to take a stand for Judge Neely  |  by Jeff Hymas

There are many important issues of our day on which to take a stand.  In my mind, this is one that is paramount because its ramifications are far reaching and strike at the very root of the moral and religious foundations of our country.


Judge Ruth Neely has served Pinedale, WY as a municipal judge for 21 years and as a part-time circuit court magistrate for 14 years.  The Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics has recommended to the Wyoming Supreme Court that she be removed from both positions because she made a comment to a local newspaper reporter that she would not be performing same sex marriages and, according to the commission, this therefore disqualified Judge Neely from serving in the judiciary. (Note that her municipal judgeship isn’t even authorized to perform marriages and her magistracy is authorized but not required to perform marriages.)


If Judge Neely were to be removed from her positions an obvious infringement on religious freedom would occur.  More specifically, the very well written Declaration of Rights in our Wyoming State Constitution would be violated, “ …no person shall be rendered incompetent to hold any office of trust or profit, or to serve as a witness or juror, because of his opinion on any matter of religious belief whatever” (Article 1, Section 18)  If her actions were licentious (defined as promiscuous and unprincipled in sexual matters), riotous or unsafe then the end of Article 1, Section 18 would apply, "but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be so construed as to excuse acts of licentiousness or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the state.”


Her statement is a reflection of her deeply held religious belief.  Its application does not promote discrimination or intolerance and it does not it infringe on anyone’s rights.  Same sex couples who want to avail themselves of the current marriage laws in Wyoming can still do so, but such a ceremony can be reasonably accommodated by having other authorized officials whose consciences are not violated perform the ceremony.


Government’s job is to protect rights, not to define religious beliefs.  In fact, both the Wyoming Constitution (as cited above) and the U.S. Constitution (its 1st amendment) explicitly state such.  If a person’s religious belief does not infringe on someone else’s rights, government’s job is to protect that person’s religious belief just as staunchly as it is to defend infringement on any other basic right.  Government only intervenes when a person’s rights have been infringed upon, not to settle doctrinal or religious viewpoints.



If we don’t take a stand for Judge Neely, our own God-given right to worship as we please in public (as guaranteed in the 1st amendment) could be diminished and Christians, or other individuals, could be barred from serving in public office because their sincerely held religious beliefs do not conform with a state approved viewpoint.



thE inquisition is alive and well in wyoming  |  by Maury "Jonesy" Jones / Teton County

 The Wyoming Commission on Judicial Conduct and Ethics has petitioned the Wyoming Supreme Court to remove Ruth Neely from her positions as Municipal Court Judge and Circuit Court Magistrate. She has served Sublette County Wyoming for 21 years with nary a complaint filed against her. Her crime? Expressing her religious belief.


In 2014 a federal district court legalized same-sex marriage in Wyoming. Ned Donovan, reporting for the Sublette Examiner at the time, phoned Neely and “asked if she was excited to be able to start performing same-sex marriages.” Judge Neely, distracted at the time and therefore not giving this deliberate “gotcha” question much thought, answered “that her religious belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman precludes her from officiating at same-sex weddings.” Her answer ignited a firestorm accusing her of homophobia and refusing to obey the law. A recent news article said “she refuses to uphold her legal obligation to marry same-sex couples.” The Commission filing states Neely “refuses to follow the law.” The accusations are malicious and patently false.


The list of Wyoming officials who are authorized to perform a marriage does not include a municipal court judge, one of Neely’s titles. As a circuit court magistrate, Neely “may perform the ceremony of marriage”, not “shall”. She has no legal obligation. A magistrate may lawfully decline to solemnize a marriage for any reason including if the magistrate doesn't know the couple, if it doesn't fit her schedule, if it is inconvenient, or if she simply does not feel like it. No couple, straight or gay, can require a Circuit Court Magistrate to officiate at their marriage. This misinformation about the law and this anti-Christian smear should have cost the reporter his job instead of costing Neely her job. And the Commission is making a false allegation which ignores the written law.


The Wyoming Constitution Article 1 Section 18 prohibits the state from rendering a person “incompetent to hold any office of trust because of his opinion on any matter of religious belief whatever.” The US Constitution, First Amendment, guarantees freedom of religion. The US Supreme Court has ruled “punishing citizens for holding or expressing religious beliefs is never permissible.” [Lukumi, 508 US 1993] The Commission’s attorney called Neely’s belief about marriage “repugnant” and said “a person with that kind of religious conviction cannot remain in office.” Such arguments to the court violate both Constitutions. The Commission and their attorney should go back to law school or resign for making blatantly unlawful arguments and accusations. Reporters should know the law before writing scathing rebukes. Commissioners should stand for the law, not political correctness. Instead, the Commission shamefully cowered in fear from the media and instigated the action to remove Judge Neely. To save face the Commission proposed a ridiculous settlement requiring Ruth Neely “publicly admit wrongdoing, forfeit both of her judicial positions, and agree to never again seek judicial office in Wyoming.”


This is truly a witch hunt; “Recant, or we will burn you at the stake!” The Inquisition is alive and well in Wyoming.


This case is very disturbing because it threatens any judge or official who expresses an opinion about controversial topics such as same-sex marriage, abortion, global warming, gun ownership, or transgender bathrooms. The reporter, the media, the Commission, and those who support this action are acting as the thought police. They want to destroy those who hold a differing opinion. This is intended to be a warning to those who disagree with the politically correct agenda.


Neely has not, in any way shape or form, previously been accused of discriminating against anyone because of sexual orientation. Sharon Stevens and Kathryn Anderson of the Pinedale LGBT community said in respective affidavits of support, “Ruth Neely is one of the best people I've ever met.” “It would be obscene and offensive to discipline Judge Neely for her statement about her religious beliefs regarding marriage.” Superbly expressed by Kathryn, who could choose to play the victim.


Ruth Neely, as a practicing Lutheran, has a deeply-held belief that marriage is between one man and one woman.


This cowboy believes the same.


However, I will accept the choice of a same-sex couple if it makes them happy to have a ceremony performed which they call marriage. I might even attend but don't ask me to officiate. I believe in free agency.


Judge Neely, and this cowboy, have the right to celebrate the marriage or choose to not participate. The problem in this instance is that the dishonest media shoves it down our throats to destroy Judge Neely’s public service career because her Christian belief is contrary to political correctness.


Any adult in Wyoming can be deputized to perform a marriage, therefore a same-sex couple can have a friend officiate. They don't need Magistrate Neely. Neely has never been asked by a gay couple to perform their wedding. A marriage is a personal special event. No sincere same-sex couple would insist on an officiator who doesn't share their belief about marriage.


It is unbecoming either side of any controversy to force someone to do something against their principles. Cowboy Common Sense argues that those who support the media’s and the Commission’s attempt to silence free speech and suppress Neely’s freedom of religion are the real bigots.




judicial activism  |  by Dan Garnett / Washakie County

If ever Congress needed a clear definition of judicial activism, the gay marriage fiasco is a clear cut example, one demanding their immediate rectification. The Court is completely off-base on this issue and is superseding its Constitutional authority.


In almost every state, citizens have made it abundantly clear that their view (about a 12,000 year-old world view, by the way) of marriage does not include the coupling of same sex individuals. Their State legislatures have mostly agreed. It's well past time for Congress to reign in the Supreme Court and federal courts by declaring that they no longer have jurisdiction over this issue. They can actually do that you know; well maybe you don't. Our representatives surely don't know or don't care, thereby allowing this immoral atrocity to continue.


Judges now legislate from the bench in direct violation of our Constitution, which allows only the Legislative branch to make law. Constitutionally, the Supreme Court can only render DECISIONS on questionable law which then MUST BE  returned to Congress for THEIR action - to void, rewrite or reword it. Neither the Supreme Court nor the federal courts have Legislative (law making) or Executive (law enforcement) power. Therefore they cannot, by declaring the prohibition against same-sex "marriage" unconstitutional, make same-sex marriage legal.


When our government acts like this and we consent, we are no longer a Constitutional Republic. When through ignorance or apathy, we no longer hold our governing bodies to the Constitution we've given them, we are no longer a free people.

separation of powers  |  by Dan Garnett / Washakie County

Many today are throwing up their hands in frustration not knowing what they can do to help return our country to the Constitutional Republic it was intended to be.


We would like to blame our national situation on many things, but I believe the root of the problem with our government is my (and your) lack of knowing and understanding our "Constitution for (not "of") the United States" (including Preamble and Bill of Rights).


We as citizens have been violating our Constitution(s) for decades, and the governing elites have finally picked up on it and are now openly infringing those documents today.


In this article we will touch on just one of those issues — the separation of powers. For the federal government this is seen in the formation of the three branches of government — Legislative, Executive and Judicial (as outlined in Articles I, II and III of the Constitution).


The Wyoming Constitution further clarifies this concept in Article 2, Section 1: "...no person or collection of persons charged with the exercise of power properly belonging to one of these departments shall exercise any powers properly belonging to either of the others...."


It should be a no-brainer to realize that one person cannot (and should not) occupy offices in two branches of government at the same time, right?


Primarily we're talking about those of the Judicial Branch occupying Executive or Legislative offices. This is not to malign lawyers — they are an essential part of our government. But once lawyers pass the bar exam, they become full time officeholders of the Judicial Branch. Thus, they are constitutionally disqualified from occupying offices in either of the other branches. I would go so far as to say that once a person becomes a lawyer they would not be qualified even if they temporarily renounced their judicial office, because of divided allegiance.


By understanding just this one founding principle, you and I can begin to bring our government back into alignment with our Constitution as we vote this coming election season.


a wolf at jonesy's door  |  by Maury "Jonesy" Jones / Teton County

Last night Beverly and I and Rocky (our Yorkie doggie) were in bed and a wolf howled within 50 yards of our house.


I’m reasonably certain it was a wolf, as it was a deep howl, not a yippy high-pitched one like coyotes do. I've heard wolves howl in a wilderness area in Idaho, and of course I've heard them on TV on the NatGeo channel and that is what this sounded like. This did NOT sound like a coyote, which we hear all the time.


Rocky and I immediately jumped out of bed and charged downstairs. I started to grab him and lock him up, but I wanted the wolf to associate his bark with danger, so I let him go. He went out his doggie-door barking his fool head off and I grabbed the shotgun by the door, slipped on my boots and ran outside and fired two shots into the darkness. I quickly reloaded and fired two more shots for good measure. Hopefully the wolf will get the hint to avoid our place.


As we get more and more wolves in this area and as their prey species continue to be reduced in numbers in the remote areas, this will become a more frequent occurrence, to have them in our neighborhoods.


I surmise that the wolf pack which spent the winter on the National Elk Refuge has followed the elk herd wandering away from the Refuge as the snow melts. We are starting to see elk in the neighborhood.


I came in the house and replaced the flashers on Rocky's collar, so they are brighter. I have three strobe lights taped to his collar that are motion activated. Between those and his jingly dog tags I hope it warns coyotes and wolves away.


These wolves better not go after my "son", Rocky. I have the right to defend my family with deadly force, no matter what the feds say about their precious federal dogs.




a response to 'a wolf at jonesy's door'

You have never met me, but I have known of you for many years. You'll recognize my last name --[redacted].


I almost came over to meet you Tuesday at the Grizzly meeting, but I didn't stay through the comment period.


I have been reading your column most every week, and want sincerely to THANK YOU!  It has been comforting that you have been there to bring out "the other side of the story" ...like again you did this week in your "It's a lie that wolves don't kill just for fun."  Excellent!


Things just aren't the same here in "the new Jackson Hole!" I am sure you know what I mean. I have been here almost 50 years now, meeting [redacted] at the old V-V Ranch in Bondurant, owned then by the Albert Feuz family, in 1964.  My grandmother was here, too, in the 1930s. Sadly, now, the old original western, ranch and hunting cultures are being lost or "overshadowed" by the dominant influences of the SUPER RICH, the liberal environmentalists, and the bicycle set today. Saddens me very much, and I almost dread to read the local newspapers anymore.


All our years at [redacted] — we could tell some stories!  They were wonderful years, with many unique experiences. And, of course, we were right there to observe the [redacted] Elk Feedground all those years.  [Redacted] also helped feed up there, too, in the early 1970s. Some years we complained alot about what we saw, but no one listened! We observed, documented, coordinated info often with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.


One extraordinary experience we enjoyed was the large Big Horn sheep herd that wintered there traditionally for long years, averaging about 50 members most years.  They came to know us and crawled under our fences daily, joining our horses in the pasture. That herd is all but completely wiped out now! WOLVES! A very few are still seen. They don't have much chance anymore with wolf packs hanging around all winter long. Oh, we could each of us go on and on and on....


But aside from THANKING YOU, I have a couple issues I think about often, and wonder your response:


(1) Do the masses of  "WOLF LOVERS" even care about the BALANCE OF NATURE as regards other species of animals? Or just more and more wolves? What about those Big Horn sheep? Or the moose, and all our other wildlife?


Of course, that does not even touch the agricultural issues for ranchers and their stock. And the caretaker of the [redacted] Ranch sure had a hard time watching after their horse herds at night, and his dogs that were trying to protect those horses! Of course, the wolf lovers don't care about any of that!


(2) Here is an issue no one addresses — does the public even realize this? — THERE ALREADY WERE NATIVE WOLVES HERE!


It appears to me the federal government itself violated the law by introducing a non-native species of wolf,  which then killed off the native species. They could have trapped the native wolves to propagate them, without all the conflict and commotion caused today.


Black native packs of wolves lived in the Gros Ventre area for long years, and were frequently seen by ranchers and cattlemen, and hunters and hunting guides. The cattlemen often stopped in for coffee and visiting at our [redacted] place, and this often was the subject of conversation. These wolves were in balance with nature, without conflict or complaints. People were excited to see them.


We and many others tried to tell the WG&F about them, but they denied it, responding always that it wasn't so, that, "Oh no, those can't be wolves! They must be some other kind of dog."


What? Come on, guys! Whole packs of "black dogs" living in the wild! How stupid do they think we are?  Wouldn't you have expected that, if they were sincere, they'd have wanted to witness them for themselves?  They were told — from above, we suspected — to deny it, as adamant about denying it as they were. There was AN AGENDA! Little did we know then what the agenda! was!) Surely, there were other native wolf packs around the region, too, but we were all firsthand witnesses right in the Gros Ventre!


So these larger, more aggressive Canadian gray wolves CAUSED THE EXTINCTION of the native Wyoming wolves, and it seems to me that the U. S. government itself is guilty of a major crime! If only the masses realized that! Sadly, those native wolves were IN BALANCE WITH NATURE. These Canadian grays certainly ARE NOT!


So now they are intent upon spreading wolves all over the continent. Hmmm...what is the real agenda? A lot more than just wolves!


Well, again, thank you so much.  Keep up the good work! And definitely, LIFE IS ALWAYS BETTER when viewed from between the ears of a horse!


Sincerely,   P

CONSTITUTION PARTY OF WYOMING  |  P.O. Box 15  |  Hartville, WY 82215