Montana Public Radio

ACLU of Montana

The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana
The American Civil Liberties Union of Montana

Human rights groups in Montana say a Gallatin County detention center is illegally holding a man at the behest of the federal government. Arturo Valerio-Gonzales was arrested earlier this year in Four Corners on a misdemeanor sexual assault charge.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Legislature wrapped up the special session to fix the state’s overburdened budget early Thursday morning. Corin Cates-Carney has been covering the fast-paced developments all week. He’s here with us now to give us highlights from this week’s special session.

The special session of the Montana Legislature got underway with lawmakers still at odds with the Bullock Administration on how to deal with the projected $227 million budget shortfall. One sticking point remains over a proposal to accept $30 million in exchange for extending the contract for a private prison in Shelby another 10 years should be part of the mix. 

The Montana Supreme Court Wednesday dealt a major blow to a measure that supporters say would have increased the rights of crime victims.

Montana voters passed "Marsy's Law" last November by a 66 percent majority. Wednesday, the state's high court declared it unconstitutional.

Montana’s only private prison has allegedly offered a $30 million dollar bailout to help the state with its budget woes. However, there's a catch.

In order to receive the $30 million dollars from CoreCivic, the company that owns the prison, the Bullock administration would need to extend that company’s contract for another ten years.


The Montana Attorney General will now have to clarify a ballot proposal intended to prohibit transgender Montanans from using the public bathrooms of their choice. The Montana Supreme Court has granted the ACLU of Montana’s petition challenging the sufficiency of I-183’s ballot statement and fiscal note.

Montana’s Supreme Court has ordered Attorney General Tim Fox to respond to the American Civil Liberties Union’s complaint about the language of a so-called "bathroom privacy" ballot initiative.

On Monday the court gave Fox 20 days to explain why the ballot language his office wrote for the initiative being promoted by the Montana Family Foundation is fair and accurate.

Gavel.
(PD)

The Montana Supreme Court has ordered a temporary stop to Marsy’s Law, the constitutional amendment approved by voters last fall.

The court halted Marsy’s Law, which increases the rights of crime victims, until another legal case challenging the constitutionality of new law is resolved. The constitutional amendment was scheduled to go into effect July 1.

Gavel.
(PD)

A group of Montana individuals and organizations is suing to stop a list of rights for crime victims, known as Marcy’s Law, from going into effect in the state on July 1.

Montana voters passed Marcy’s Law last November.

A float in the Helena Vigilante Day parade depicting the Madison Buffalo Jump has been criticized by the ACLU and others for its portrayal of Native Americans.
Courtesy Meg Singer

One of the longest-running high school parades in the United States has been criticized by the ACLU and others for its portrayal of Native Americans.

“This is racism, 21st century racism," says Meg Singer, a Helena resident and member of the Navajo Nation.

She says Helena High School students at the Vigilante Day Parade last Friday dressed in Hollywood-style Native American costumes with short skirts and other scantily-clad clothing.

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