Montana Public Radio

Montana Supreme Court

Kendra Espinoza in her Kalispell home  Jan. 14, 2020. Espinoza’s family is front and center in the case before the U.S. Supreme Court, which will decide whether states like Montana can exclude religious schools from school choice programs.
Aaron Bolton / Montana Public Radio

Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments both for and against the Montana Supreme Court’s decision to shut down a school choice program it said violated the state constitution’s ban on public money flowing to religious schools. The case may decide whether Montana and other states can exclude religious schools from school choice programs.

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. 

There’s a three-way race underway for a seat on the Montana Supreme Court. Each of the candidates are relying on self funding to get their 2020 campaigns off the ground.

Justice Laurie McKinnon, who lives in Helena, is running for reelection after announcing last year she would not seek a second eight-year term on the state high court.

Montana Secretary of State Office
William Marcus

A fourth Republican is entering Montana’s primary race for Secretary of State.

Bowen Greenwood, current clerk of the Montana Supreme Court, announced Tuesday he’s joining the 2020 race for the job of top election official.

Downtown Libby, MT.
libbymt.com

The Montana Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday about whether BNSF Railway can be held liable for exposing Libby residents to asbestos that was in shipments of vermiculite it transported before the local mine shut down in 1990.

Pistol stock photo.
(PD)

The Montana Supreme Court today ruled that a Missoula ordinance that would have expanded background checks to private gun sales violates state law. The opinion overturns a lower court’s ruling, and sides with Attorney General Tim Fox's position. 

The Montana Supreme Court has selected Sheila Stearns to lead Montana Redistricting Commission.
Courtesy the University of Montana

The Montana Supreme Court Tuesday named former state Commissioner of Higher Education Sheila Stearns to lead the committee in charge of re-drawing the boundaries of Montana’s legislative districts.

Stearns was picked by the state high court after the two Democrats and two Republicans on the Montana 2020 Redistricting Commission deadlocked on who should be their fifth and final member.

Montana Capitol dome, Helena.
William Marcus / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A bill to change Montana's child sexual abuse laws, including lifting the statute of limitations for prosecuting such crimes, was signed Tuesday by Gov. Steve Bullock.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic Rep. Shane Morigeau, also extends from 21 to 27 the age deadline by which a victim of child sexual assault has to file a lawsuit against their abuser.

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.

Bill Would Give Landlords Option To Send Tenants To Collections

Feb 7, 2019
Sen. Roger Webb, R-Billings. File photo.
Montana Legislature

HELENA — Landlords would be able to send their tenants to a collections agency for unpaid rent and other charges without a court ruling under a bill introduced to the Legislature.

Sen. Roger Webb, R-Billings, is sponsoring Senate Bill 184, which amends the Residential Landlord Tenant Act. The changes would also allow landlords to charge their tenants fees if they break their lease agreement.

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