Montana Public Radio

Keith Regier

An excerpt from Justice Jim Rice's concurring opinion on a lawsuit challenging the governor's authority to appoint judges to open benches directly. Rice wrote a concurring opinion, but included scathing criticism of the Legislature and Dept. of Justice.

A Montana Supreme Court justice who voted in a 6-1 ruling to uphold a new law allowing the governor to appoint judges directly to open benches is also condemning Republican lawmakers and the state’s attorney general for their handling of the proceedings.

What Slowing Vaccine Rates Mean For One Rural Montana County

May 11, 2021
Dawn Stratton, a registered nurse in Kalispell, administers covid-19 vaccines at the Flathead County fairgrounds. While Flathead County is seeing demand for vaccinations lag, the mass clinic at the fairgrounds has overall been a place of hope.
Katheryn Houghton / Kaiser Health News

KALISPELL, Mont. — The COVID vaccination operation at the Flathead County fairgrounds can dole out 1,000 doses in seven hours. But demand has plummeted recently, down to fewer than 70 requests for the shots a day.

A gavel and scale of justice.

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.

The "beast bill" heads to the Senate. The attorney general sues over restrictions on the use of federal COVID relief money. Montana could lose millions in federal education money because of a bill banning transgender students from participating in women's sports. A bill to make it easier for Native Americans to vote is killed. And a progressive blogger ends his long run as an influential gadfly.

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

Montana lawmakers worried about losing federal funding have amended a proposed ban on transgender women and girls competing in interscholastic women’s sports. The Senate has endorsed the amended bill.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Declaration document

A policy to increase local law enforcement's role in federal immigration investigations in Montana is nearing Gov. Greg Gianforte’s desk. The state's Republican-led Legislature has passed the bill in both chambers and now it returns to the House after being amended in the Senate.

Montana Senate Moves Forward Bill To Ban Sanctuary Cities

Mar 16, 2021

The Montana Senate Monday offered its support to a controversial bill that would ban sanctuary cities in the state.

HELENA — The Montana Legislature has considered nearly a dozen bills this session aimed at changing how Montana’s judicial branch is formed and how it works.

A group of Republican lawmakers and protestors gather on the steps of the Montana Capitol for an anti-abortion rally on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021.
Austin Amestoy / UM Legislative News Service

Four bills that aim to further regulate access to abortion in Montana were endorsed by the state Senate Friday.

Each bill passed mostly along party lines, with Republicans voting in favor of the proposals and Democrats voting against. 

A gloved hand swabs a person's arm, prepping it for a shot.

Montana lawmakers are considering bills to expand who is eligible for vaccine-mandate exemptions in workplaces and schools.