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Montana Supreme Court

The Montana Supreme Court Monday, Aug. 24 sided with solar power developers who accused regulators and the state’s largest utility of trying to block renewable energy projects.

Justices upheld a lower court ruling that said state regulators knew their actions would hurt solar development when they suspended a federal law requiring companies to buy power from alternative energy sources.

Raph Graybill
Courtesy

The Montana Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an effort by the state Republican Party to remove Democratic attorney general candidate Raph Graybill from the November ballot, saying the petition filed on Aug. 3 didn't rise to the level of urgency needed for the issue to bypass state courts.

Raph Graybill
Courtesy

The Montana Republican Party is reviving claims aimed at disqualifying the Democratic attorney general candidate from the November ballot.

The GOP filed a petition with the Montana Supreme Court Monday, alleging Democrat Raph Graybill is ineligible to run for the office. The party claims Graybill has not practiced law long enough to meet the position’s requirements.

Inmate Populations for Select County Jails in Montana
Charles Bolte / Montana Public Radio

County jail populations dropped this spring as the state reacted to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Now, with cases of COVID-19 on the rise, inmate populations in several of Montana’s largest county jails are growing and cell blocks are crowded. Some advocates are calling for more action to reduce the number of people locked up during this time. But local sheriffs say they’re balancing virus risks and public safety. It’s all leaving some inmates worried about their health.

U.S. Supreme Court file photo.
PD

The Montana Supreme Court discriminated against religious schools when it invalidated a tax credit program that supported school choice, according to a ruling handed down by the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday.

 


This story is part of our series that looks at lasting ways Montana is adapting during the pandemic. It’s funded in part by the Solutions Journalism Network.

Criminal justice system reformers for years have sought to reduce county jail and state prison populations in Montana. The COVID-19 pandemic has sped up the process, mostly at county detention facilities across the state.

The Montana Supreme Court today overruled a lower court order and restored the state’s Jun. 2 mail-in ballot receipt deadline for the upcoming primary.

The high court’s order means voters must get their mail-in ballots to their local election office or other drop off locations by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Update May 28, 2020: This story has been updated to add more context about each candidate. The update also corrects an error in a previous version of this web story that misstated Mike Black has run for the Montana Supreme Court before. Black applied to be appointed to replace a justice leaving the bench.

Three candidates are vying to fill one of the seven seats on Montana’s Supreme Court. The race is non-partisan and the primary will result in the two candidates with the most votes moving onto the general election in November. All three candidates are promoting their legal backgrounds and experience.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Public Domain

Dinosaur fossils aren't minerals under state law, a divided Montana Supreme Court said in a Wednesday ruling with implications for an ongoing legal battle over the ownership of millions of dollars of fossils unearthed on an eastern Montana ranch.

The Montana Supreme Court will not mandate expanded measures requested by disability rights advocates to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Montana prisons and jails.

Justices Tuesday unanimously denied a petition filed two weeks ago by the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana on behalf of Disability Rights Montana.

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