Montana Senate Majority Leader: Time for Judicial Reform
The people of Montana elect a Governor, they elect 150 lawmakers to craft legislation, they testify on bills, sometimes they themselves get to vote on a referendum or initiative. But all that work can be thrown into the trashcan thanks to one judge with a personal, political agenda.
So how do we finally bring about reform to the judiciary here in Montana? And partisan politics aside, what other types of reforms do we need to see in our courts?
We caught up with Senate Majority Leader Steve Fitzpatrick (R-Great Falls) before Friday's "Co-op Days at the Capitol" event put together by the Montana Electric Cooperatives Association.
Sen. Fitzpatrick says he is hearing a lot of concern about how injunctions are entered, and impacting the ability of state government to get the job done.
Sen. Maj. Ldr. Fitzpatrick: In the state of Montana it's very easy to get an injunction. And that's what's going on is we're getting these people- they're going down, and they're finding judges who are entering injunctions stopping any of the election laws that I think most people would say are just common sense. Things that happened before and all of a sudden they're miraculously determined to be unconstitutional. So we're gonna fix that. We're gonna have a new standard for entering injunctions.It's gonna more or less replicate the federal law.
As I was listening to Sen. Fitzpatrick talk one of the things that amazed me was how some of these judges seem to have all the time in the world to interfere in politics. Yet, here in our bigger cities in Montana like Billings and Missoula we have a massive crime problem and some of these judges are constantly putting criminals back out onto the streets.
Full audio of our chat with Senate Majority Leader Fitzpatrick, Speaker of the House Matt Regier, and Governor Gianforte's Budget Director Ryan Osmundson: