Montana Public Radio

ACLU of Montana

A 2020 Montana primary absentee ballot
Nicky Ouellet, Yellowstone Public Radio

With Montana's primary elections less than two weeks away, a judge temporarily blocked a voter-approved law that restricts collection of absentee ballots.

The U.S. District Court in Great Falls will allow a lawsuit from two women who claimed they were detained for speaking spanish to proceed against U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The Montana Supreme Court Wednesday in Helena heard oral arguments from a lawsuit challenging immigration detentions in Lincoln County. The decision at a later date will have broad implications for the policy and practice of sheriffs across the state. 

Martha Hernández (left) and Ana Suda were detained for 40 minutes in 2018 by a U.S. border agent who overheard them speaking Spanish in Havre.
Brook Swaney / ACLU of Montana

Lawyers for United States Customs and Border Protection asked a federal judge in Great Falls on Wednesday to toss out a case involving a federal agent questioning two women for speaking Spanish in Havre.

Martha Hernández (left) and Ana Suda were detained for 40 minutes in 2018 by a U.S. border agent who overheard them speaking Spanish in Havre.
Brook Swaney / ACLU of Montana

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A woman who is suing the U.S. Customs and Border Protection after an agent questioned her and a friend for speaking Spanish in a convenience store said Friday the backlash to their lawsuit has forced them to move away from their small Montana city.

Gavel.
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A U.S. appeals court Friday said a Montana judge confused two cases when he mistakenly threw out a lawsuit four years ago alleging that inmates with serious mental illnesses weren't receiving the treatment they need.

U.S. District Judge Sam Haddon of Great Falls threw out the lawsuit in 2015 by Disability Rights Montana that claims mentally ill inmates in Montana State Prison were being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. 

A divided Montana Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that allows advanced practice registered nurses to provide abortions while they challenge a state law that says only physicians and physician assistants can perform the procedure.

Lolo resident Eugene Mitchell in a screengrab from an ACLU video
ACLU Montana

A lawsuit filed in federal court in Missoula Wednesday says America’s bail bond industry amounts to organized crime.

The ACLU of Montana is suing five parties in Montana and two out of state insurance companies over an April 2017 incident when armed bounty hunters kicked in the door of Eugene Mitchell’s home in Lolo, and took him away at the direction of a Missoula bail bondsman. That bondsman, the ACLU says, is backed by out of state insurance companies.


Federal investigators are in northeast Montana this week looking into alleged racial discrimination in public schools.

Three investigators from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ Seattle region spent Monday speaking with Wolf Point School District administrators and families.

'Real Meat Act' Passes Legislature

Mar 27, 2019
House Bill 327 adds a definition for a cell-cultured edible product into the Montana code and redefines hamburger and ground beef to come “entirely” from the edible flesh of a slaughtered animal.
Public Domain

HELENA — Rep. Alan Redfield, R-Livingston, is sponsoring of the “Real Meat Act,” which has passed both the House and the Senate and is heading to the governor’s desk. Redfield said the bill was written to address a rising problem.

“Picture, if you will, on the grill a nice, juicy burger. Then picture another thing on the grill that came from a petri dish,” Redfield said.

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