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Montana politics, elections and legislative news

Abortion advocates seek court order to allow ballot initiative signature gathering to begin

Abortion-rights advocates have asked the Montana Supreme Court to force the secretary of state to allow signature gathering to begin on a ballot initiative. It’s part of a fast-moving legal back-and-forth ahead of a June deadline to collect signatures needed to certify the constitutional initiative for the ballot.

Republican Senate President Jason Ellsworth on Tuesday subpoenaed Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen to send the initiative’s language to a legislative committee. There, lawmakers would have up to two weeks to perform a legislative review. But, state Supreme Court justices have said that the initiative could move forward without legislative input.

Abortion-rights advocates will have to resubmit their request to the Montana Supreme Court, due to a legal technicality, if they want the court to act further.

Austin graduated from the University of Montana’s journalism program in May 2022. He came to MTPR as an evening newscast intern that summer, and jumped at the chance to join full-time as the station’s morning voice in Fall 2022.

He is best reached by emailing
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