Montana Public Radio

Beth McLaughlin

The Montana Supreme Court has denied an order asking all seven justices to recuse themselves from hearing a case regarding the state court administrator. It’s the latest development in an ongoing dispute between Republican legislative leaders and the judicial branch. 

Sen. Greg Hertz (R) - SD6 chaired the Select Committee On Judicial Transparency and Accountability session Monday April 19, 2021.
Montana Public Affairs Network

Montana lawmakers plan to continue their investigation into alleged bias in the state’s judicial branch after the 2021 legislative session ends.

Lawmakers Navigate Separation Of Powers Challenges

Apr 19, 2021
Majority Leader Sue Vinton speaks during a Special Joint Select Committee on Judicial Transparency and Accountability, April 19, 2021.
Montana Legislature

HELENA — Gov. Greg Gianforte and the Legislature are locked in a legal battle over a new law giving the governor sweeping powers to appoint judges. 

The Session Week 16: Separation Of Powers And The Future Of Colstrip

Apr 19, 2021

As of mid-day Friday, 1,297 bills have been introduced and at least 197 have been signed into law. This week we’re watching a mounting dispute over separation of powers between the Legislature and the Montana Supreme Court. We’re also watching debate on a bill that would incentivize the state’s largest utility to buy more of the Colstrip coal-fired power plant.

'Capitol Talk' is MTPR's weekly legislative analysis program.
Montana Public Radio

COVID leads to the cancellation of floor sessions at the Legislature as the Republican leaders are in a subpoena standoff with the state Supreme Court. All this as a bill to ban abortion dies in the Senate, the governor tries to prohibit "vaccine passports" and a Montanan may become the next head of the Bureau of Land Management.

Listen now on Capitol Talk with Sally Mauk, Rob Saldin and Holly Michels.

The Montana Capitol
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

The Montana Supreme Court has blocked several subpoenas filed by legislative Republicans ordering the justices to produce internal communications about pending legislation by Monday.

The Supreme Court Friday also blocked a subpoena that would have required Court Administrator Beth McLaughlin to appear Monday before a special legislative committee investigating judicial conduct, and to turn over her state computer. 

Montana Republican legislative leaders have subpoenaed the Montana Supreme Court’s seven justices and court administrator, looking for evidence of alleged bias over bills that could be challenged in court. It is the latest development in a conflict brewing between the state’s legislative and judicial branches.

A gavel and scale of justice.
iStock

A bill passed by the state Legislature's Republican majority is now leading to debate over the separation of powers between the branches of Montana’s government.

The bill that eliminates the Judicial Nomination Commission and allows governors to directly appoint judges to certain vacancies was signed into law by Gov. Greg Gianforte last month. Montana State News Bureau reporter Seaborn Larson updates MTPR’s Shaylee Ragar on the latest developments.

Gavel.
(PD)

When the roughly 10 percent of adult Montanans with a substance-use disorder commit a crime, the state lacks enough drug courts to help them stay out of incarceration and navigate treatment. That’s according to a new report on Montana treatment courts released Thursday.

Most, about 90 percent, of those Montanas with a substance-use disorder aren’t receiving treatment for their illness.

The town of Libby.
courtesy

Montana’s Supreme Court has appointed six more judges to the state’s year-old asbestos claims court.

It’s been nearly 20 years since the Libby asbestos disaster hit national news, but many Montanans affected by it are still fighting for reparations in the courts, with no end in sight.

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