Montana Public Radio

Montana Supreme Court

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.

Montana Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike McGrath.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Gov. Steve Bullock Wednesday issued a directive aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Montana’s Correctional facilities. But it was dismissed as too little, too late by the American Civil Liberties Union of Montana and disability rights advocates.

The Montana Supreme Court weighed in late in the afternoon.

Butte-Silver Bow Detention Center
Josh Burnham

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The chief justice of the Montana Supreme Court is asking city and county judges to consider releasing from jail as many offenders as they can to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.

Chief Justice Mike McGrath wrote to judges asking them to review their jail rosters for inmates that could be released.

Downtown Libby, MT.
libbymt.com

The Montana Supreme Court ruled largely in favor of roughly 1,200 plaintiffs Wednesday that say BNSF railway should be held liable for its part in contaminating Libby with asbestos. But, the court didn’t outline exactly what activities the railway could be held liable for, and to what extent.

Solar panels. Stock photo.
(PD)

The Montana Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday over how the Public Service Commission should set the rates NorthWestern Energy has to pay for power it's required to buy from small solar projects.

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