Montana Supreme Court Partisan Elections Amendment (2012)

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The Montana Supreme Court Partisan Elections Amendment did not get placed on the 2012 statewide ballot in the state of Montana as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. House Bill 521 would have required candidates for District Court and the Supreme Court in Montana to run on partisan labels instead of as nonpartisan office seekers as they do currently. Representative Michael More (R-Gallatin Gateway) proposed the ballot measure in legislative session.[1]

According to the American Judicature Society, fourteen states already hold some form of partisan judicial elections, either for all their judicial posts or just certain courts.[2]

Representative More stated at the time, “The issue is greater transparency in the judicial branch” and that it would help voters see “the individual biases brought to the bench.” In opposition, Ed Bartlett, representative of the Montana Judges Association and the State Bar of Montana said, "It would take away, or perhaps be contrary to, the independence and impartiality of the district court judges and Supreme Court justices."[2]

See also