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Judge Orders Utah GOP to Get a Second Attorney in Case Challenging SB54

The federal judge overseeing the Utah Republican Party’s lawsuit challenging the state’s new election law known as SB54 has ordered them to hire a second attorney to help them better meet the court’s deadlines.

In the order issued Thursday, U.S. District Court Judge David Nuffer wrote that the request is not meant to be punitive but a remedial measure to help the Utah GOP’s attorney, Marcus Mumford.

Nuffer writes, “He is simply being stretched too thin and has many urgent matters that require his attention. Mr. Mumford’s multiple obligations, demonstrated to be unmanageable with the present staffing in his office, require that new counsel to appear to ensure that the [Utah Republican Party] meets deadlines.”

Mumford says the Utah GOP will fully comply with this order, but expects the judge to apply the rules this strictly to both parties.

“If you’re going to enforce the rules severely against us, that’s fine," he says. "We’ll except that, but you’ve got to play equally to both sides.”

Mumford also stresses how difficult meeting deadlines can be in a case that has been put on such a shortened schedule.

“I do think that people tend to forget what kind of a David vs. Goliath battle. Any time you take on the state, any time you take on the government they’ve got money. They’ve got the power. They’ve got all the resources to fight you,” he says.

Mumford also doesn’t believe this order will have any impact on the outcome of the case. The next hearing is scheduled for October 27th.  

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