The Montana GOP has sent out a mailer blasting the Montana Supreme Court and calling for an investigation into the judicial branch. The mailing is Republicans’ latest attack on the judiciary as they press forward with a special committee that Democrats are calling a violation of the constitutional separation of powers.
The mailer, first reported by MTN News, shows a photo of Chief Justice Mike McGrath and accuses the high court of violating the judicial code of conduct.
In a statement, a Montana GOP spokesperson said citizens expect an impartial judiciary and recent developments suggest more scrutiny is needed.
A special legislative committee investigating alleged bias and misconduct among judges and state Supreme Court justices is meeting Wednesday morning. The panel is expected to work through the interim to produce a report detailing its findings, along with potential legislation recommendations.
State Supreme Court justices refute claims of bias. Last week, McGrath sent a letter to Republican committee leaders saying members of the judiciary haven’t broken any lobbying or record-keeping rules, as alleged. Democratic lawmakers have called the investigation political theater.
Kevin Trevellyan is Yellowstone Public Radio's Report for America statehouse reporter.