The topic of the Montana Supreme Court is a never-ending saga in the state of Montana.
HELENA — Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte on Monday joined GOP legislators and Montana’s Republican attorney general, in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in their dispute with the Montana Supreme Court over whether that court is improperly “prejudging proposed legislation.”
Gianforte, through his chief lawyer, Anita Milanovich, filed a “friend of the court” brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the court to hear an appeal from Attorney General Austin Knudsen and Republican legislators.
Gianforte’s filing said the state Supreme Court and judiciary have failed to maintain their role as an “independent and impartial arbiter” by prejudging proposed bills before the Legislature, in emails and other communications.
“By engaging in discourse about proposed legislation, the Montana judiciary has created an untenable situation: nearly every sitting judge in the state that rules on the lawfulness of legislation can now be viewed with suspicion,” Milanovich wrote. “Any district court decision involving new legislation may cause a litigant to wonder if the outcome was independently arrived at, or if the Supreme Court signaled its position in an email or poll.”
Knudsen and GOP lawmakers are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that the Montana court violated due process of law last year when it denied a request to “recuse” or remove all seven court justices from ruling on the legality of legislative subpoenas seeking internal court emails.
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