The Montana Supreme Court has upheld the rejection of a lawsuit claiming Montana’s Districting and Apportionment Commission improperly assigned a Democratic senator to a new central Montana district. The court, without comment this week, affirmed a ruling by state District Judge Mike Menahan of Helena, who said the five-member panel did not violate open meetings law when it made the Senate District 15 assignment a year ago. Supreme Court Chief Justice Mike McGrath said the court will issue a full opinion later, but wanted to issue its decision before the end of candidate filing next Monday.
A ruling against the state might have created an open seat in SD15, where candidates could run this year. Now, Sen. Bradley Hamlett of Cascade will represent the district through 2015.
The Districting and Apportionment Commission, which drew new legislative districts that take effect for the first time this year, assigned Hamlett, a Democrat, to represent SD15.
Full Article: Montana justices uphold rejection of redistricting lawsuit.