According to a source on the Libertarian National Committee, LP Chair Bill Redpath yesterday received an opinion by the authors of Robert’s Rules asserting that the LP’s rules allow a registration fee at conventions. The six-page opinion begins:
This letter constitutes our professional opinion as parliamentarians concerning the following questions with regard to the Libertarian Party:
1. “Does any provision of the Libertarian Party bylaws, of its rules, or of its parliamentary authority, Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised, prohibit charging delegates a convention registration fee?” In our opinion, the answer is no.
2. “Does the National Committee have the authority to set a convention registration fee?” In our opinion, the answer is yes.
3. “If the National Committee has the authority to set a convention registration fee, and it does so, can that decision be overruled or rescinded by vote of the delegates at a convention?” In our opinion, the answer is no, unless the delegates do so by adopting a bylaws amendment.
4. “Is there any basis for the Judicial Committee to override the LNC’s decision to establish a convention registration fee?” In our opinion, the Judicial Committee would have jurisdiction to review such a decision, but, on the basis of our analysis in response to the first two questions, ought not to override it.
The opinion is silent on the claim (e.g. by 2012 LP presidential nomination hopeful Tom Knapp here) that a registration fee would be an illegal “poll tax” under Morse v. the Republican Party of Virginia.