ELKINS – U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey soon will decide whether to hear a suit claiming the state Division of Natural Resources violated the rights of the Constitution Party of West Virginia.

At a Dec. 8 conference, Bailey said he would rule by the end of the month on a DNR motion to dismiss the party's suit.

The DNR argues that a federal court can't hear a claim against a state.

The Constitution Party challenges the DNR's authority to keep party members from circulating petitions at state parks.

DNR agents chased party members away from National Hunting and Fishing Day activities at Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park in 2007.

Joseph Wallace of Elkins represents the Constitution Party. Keith Gamble of Morgantown represents the DNR and Director Frank Jezioro.

At the conference, Bailey told them that if he decides to keep the case he would give Wallace 60 days to move for summary judgment in favor of the party.

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