Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Montana’s Unequal Distribution Requirement for the Petition to Create a New Party
The above quote is taken verbatim from a court recording during a hearing held by the Montana First Judicial District County of Lewis and Clark on May 17, 2018.
On November 8, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in Montana Green Party v Jacobsen, 20-35340. It struck down the unequal distribution requirement that has existed for Montana petitions for new party recognition ever since 1981. The unequal distribution requirement was responsible for the Green Party’s petition failure in both 2018 and 2020. It requires signatures from one-third of the State House districts. The fatal flaw is that it requires almost three times as many signatures from some districts as from others, even though all districts are approximately equal in population.Read more
The Montana Green Party is disappointed at the decision to once again remove us from the state ballot as a voting option, in what is starting to become a trend to prevent green activism. Many thousands of registered voters signed petitions to include the party on the ballot both in 2018 and 2020, both times would have ensured statewide green ballot access for two election cycles.
Since our prior removal from the ballot in 2018, our primary goal is the focus on growing the party within the state, especially at the local level. This includes offices for mayor, city council, school board, county races, and at the very most Legislative State House and State Senate districts.
(CNN) – The Montana secretary of state is asking the Supreme Court to intervene in a fight over whether the Green Party can be on the state ballot this fall -- a decision that could have a major impact on a key US Senate race between Republican incumbent Sen. Steve Daines and Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock.
Secretary of State Cory Stapleton, a Republican, filed an emergency request Monday urging the high court to place a hold on proceedings pending further legal action after lower courts had approved the Green Party absence from the ballot.Read more
(Helena, Mt) On Monday the Montana Green Party (MGP), and 8 of its supporters, filed suit in Federal District Court. The case, which names the Montana Secretary of State, Corey Stapleton, as the defendant, asks the court to grant an immediate and permanent injunction on the enforcement of MCA, § 13-10-601(2)(a), (b), (c), and (d), as these statutes impose an unconstitutional burden on the MGP and its supporters by violating the first and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution.
The initial complaint declares that "the Plaintiffs will be denied their rights to actively engage in the exercise of their free speech, right to political association, right to form a political party, seek redress of grievances, cast an effective vote, and equal protection and due process of the laws of the State of Montana and the United States of America."Read more
The Green Party of the United States strongly disagrees with the decision by Judge James P. Reynolds to remove the Montana Green Party from the November ballot. In his decision, Judge Reynolds sided with the Montana Democratic Party which had filed an emergency injunction in April, challenging some of the petition signatures.
Montana Green Party spokesperson Danielle Breck stated "He (Judge Reynolds) managed to throw out exactly enough (signatures) to get us off the ballot".Read more
Greetings Green folks,
Bad news from the court today. The Judge granted the Democrats their emergency injunction to remove us from the ballot. From here we have to either live with this decision or appeal; however our lawyer does not feel like he can afford to continue the process pro bono. So, we need to determine what is our best way to move forward.
Sen. Jon Tester of Montana was already facing a tough re-election battle in a state that Donald Trump won by a landslide — and then the Green Party made the Democrat’s job that much tougher by qualifying for the ballot.
Now the Montana Democratic Party is scrambling to oust the Greens. It has asked a judge to decertify the left-wing party by declaring 180 petition signatures invalid for reasons such as bad handwriting, use of initials instead of full names and failure to write in cursive.Read more
The court case brought by Democrats challenging the Green Party’s access to the 2018 election ballot in Montana will resume this Thursday under review of a new judge.
Democrats allege Montana’s Republican Secretary of State erred in certifying the Green Party for the ballot.Read more
(MONTANA) The Montana Green Party (MTGP) and their legal counsel Quentin Rhoades joined with the Secretary of State's office Tuesday to defend the legitimacy of their ballot access petition. The lawsuit, which was filed by the Montana Democratic Party on April 2nd, calls into question the validity of a handful of the 7386 validated signatures turned in by MTGP supporters.
Although Montana state law only requires minor parties to collect 5000 signatures from 34 of its 100 house districts, it also requires a certain number from each district. The 180 validated signature that the Democrats are contesting come out of 9 strategic districts that, if rejected in, would disqualify them from the general election ballot in the fall.Read more
MISSOULA – For the first time in 10 years the Green Party qualified to run candidates in a statewide race in Montana. The state has very strict, very complicated rules about what it takes for a third party to get on the ballot.
They're rules that Danielle Breck has come to know very well. She brought the Green Party back to life in Montana and has been organizing the party's effort to collect about 10,000 signatures from voters who want to see the Green Party on the ballot this fall.Read more