Montana Supreme Court To Rule On Legislative Subpoena Powers
MT Public Radio, Shaylee RagarJune 29, 2021

The Montana Supreme Court announced on Tuesday it will issue a final ruling on the Legislature’s subpoenas, rejecting GOP lawmakers’ request to dismiss the case.

The state high court is moving forward with the case because justices say the dispute over Legislative powers is a relevant issue likely to come up again.

The legal battle was prompted by GOP lawmakers who filed subpoenas for the state’s Supreme Court justices and court administrator to obtain internal communications in an unprecedented investigation into allegations of bias and misconduct among the judicial branch. Court officials reject those allegations.

Lawmakers last week withdrew their subpoenas and asked the court to dismiss the case.

However, Court Administrator Beth McLaughlin opposed that move and asked for a final ruling to determine the scope of the Legislature’s subpoena power. The court agreed.

Republican Sen. Greg Hertz says the Supreme Court has a conflict of interest in ruling on the subpoenas and is “once again abandoning normal procedure” by ruling on a withdrawn request.

What got signed, and what got vetoed
Montana Free Press, Alex SakariassenMay 20, 2021

The latest bills to be signed into statute, or killed, by Gov. Greg Gianforte.

The 67th Montana Legislature has concluded, but not all of the new policies passed by lawmakers have yet to clear their final hurdle: the signature of Gov. Greg Gianforte. Gianforte does have the option to veto any measures he disagrees with, or he could opt in some cases not to act at all, in which case the bill will become law after 10 days. Here’s a look at some of the major laws Gianforte has signed since the session ended. Montana Free Press will update this information.

The Montana Democratic Party is suing to block new laws on voter registration and identification signed by Gov. Greg Gianforte this week.

The Montana Democratic Party is attempting to block changes to voting rights laws signed by Gov. Greg Gianforte. The changes would create more stringent identification requirements for voters and end same-day voter registration in the state, which Montana voters approved on the 2004 ballot.

The suit was filed in District Court in Yellowstone County shortly after Gianforte’s bill signing Monday and requested that a judge immediately bar Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen from enforcing the new laws. In its complaint, the Democratic Party argues that same-day voter registration has been “critical to protecting the voting rights of tens of thousands of Montanans.” It specifically cites testimony from legislative proceedings earlier this year highlighting the geographic and transportation challenges faced by rural, elderly, disabled and Native American voters — challenges the party maintains have been alleviated for the past 16 years by voters’ ability to register, update their voter information and cast a ballot in a single trip.