Supreme Court says no to LR 127
The title of LR 127 is complicated and confusing, could mislead voters, and it breaks the legislature's own law by being too long.
Late March 25, the Montana Supreme Court agreed with us that the legislature must comply with the law, its own law, which it did not when the Republican majority rammed through the 2013 legislature Legislative Referendum 127, passed as SB 408.
State law says that the title of a bill proposing a legislative referendum may not exceed 100 words. The clear purpose of the legislature’s 100-word limit in § 5-4-102, MCA, as the Montana Supreme Court has determined, is to ensure that voters are not misled or confused by complex titles of the measure in the ballot language.
SB 408/LR 127 far exceeded that number, maybe by 85 words. So, it does not matter whether the text of the ballot issue has merit or not (which we believe it does not), the bill creating the ballot issue violated the law.
And that was our argument, not our only argument, but the argument we made with which the court has agreed.
So, the court has ordered LR 127 off the ballot.
Consequently, we the people have been spared a dangerous, not-from-here, California proposition that would eliminate third party candidates from Montana general elections.
Our thanks to our union brothers and sisters and the great folks at the Montana Human Rights Network who joined us in our successful legal challenge.
Now we turn our attention to fighting LR 126, an out-and-out voter suppression measure, which will appear on the November ballot.