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Montana Supreme Court To Rule On Legislative Subpoena Powers

Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.
William Marcus
Montana Capitol, Helena, MT.

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has a conflict of interest in ruling on the subpoenas and is “once again abandoning normal procedure” by ruling on a withdrawn request.

Copyright 2021 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Shaylee is a UM Journalism School student. She reports and helps produce Montana Evening News on MTPR.