MTPR

Tim Fox

Gavel.
(PD)

A federal appeals court has upheld a Montana law that says judicial candidates cannot seek, accept or use political endorsements in their campaigns.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today upheld a U.S. District Court ruling that found Montana has compelling interests in an impartial and independent judiciary.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox at a press conference in Helena Monday
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

Montana is suing the pharmaceutical giant Purdue Pharma. Attorney General Tim Fox held a press conference today to announce a consumer protection lawsuit against the Connecticut-based company.

Fox says Montana is joining over a dozen other states in alleging Purdue Pharma holds some of the blame for the rise in abuse of opioid drugs across the nation. Drugs like Perdue’s painkiller Oxycontin.

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Montana’s campaign contribution limits set in 1994 are constitutional, overturning a previous decision that found the limits violated political free speech.

The Ninth Circuit Court ruled that the Constitution allows campaign contribution limits to prevent actual or apparent quid pro quo corruption in politics.

Attorney General Tim Fox announcing a new report about drug abuse in Montana, September 19, 2017.
Corin Cates-Carney

A new report from the Montana Department of Justice released today says meth violations are up more than 500 percent in the last five years. And since 2010, heroin crimes are up more than 1,500 percent, contributing to Montana having the highest jail incarceration rate in the region.

The DOJ’s initial "Addressing the Impact of Drugs," or "AID" report provides a look into the data of Montanan’s use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs.

Colstrip power plant, Colstrip Montana.
Flicker User ambib (CC-BY-NC)

A legal settlement reached Friday could have a big impact on the future of Colstrip – both to the coal-fired power plant there, and the town itself.

Some renewable energy advocates say the settlement means the Colstrip plant could shut down sooner than had been anticipated – maybe as early as 2027, instead of sometime in the 2040s. But that depends on a lot of variables, and Colstrip’s backers say it could stay open for decades.

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