Montana Voter Suppression Law (Forward Montana)
Forward Montana v. Montana
Lawsuit filed on behalf of Forward Montana, an elected county attorney and a group of local Montana lawyers against the state challenging a law, Senate Bill 319, that bans voter registration and education activities on public college campuses and requires judges to recuse themselves from cases if a party or attorney before them donated to their campaign. The complaint alleges that this law violates the First Amendment and multiple provisions of the Montana Constitution, which does not allow bills to contain multiple subjects and prohibits substantive changes of a bill’s purpose as it goes through the legislative process. The court granted a preliminary injunction prohibiting the state from enforcing the challenged provisions while the case proceeds, finding that it “is necessary in this instance to preserve the status quo and to prevent irreparable injury to Plaintiffs.” In early February, the court granted summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and converted the preliminary injunction to a permanent injunction, meaning that the two challenged provisions of S.B. 319 are permanently blocked. The state declined to appeal this final order, leaving S.B. 319 blocked.