Select a State:

State of Montana

Judicial Selection in the States: Montana

Overview

News

The Montana House State Administration Committee yesterday approved a bill to require judges recuse from cases due to campaign contributions. Under HB 157 as approved...

Read More...

A plan to require Wyoming judicial nominating commission members to be subject to senate confirmation appears to have died. Wyoming s top courts use a...

Read More...

This is proving to be an unprecedented year in terms of the number of efforts to either switch from partisan to nonpartisan judicial elections or...

Read More...

Courtesy of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of...

Read More...

The Montana judiciary consists of a supreme court, a district court, and various courts of limited jurisdiction. Supreme court and district court judges are chosen in nonpartisan elections. When interim vacancies occur, the governor appoints a candidate from a list submitted by the judicial nomination commission. Appointees must be confirmed by the senate.

In 1909, the Montana legislature passed the Nonpartisan Judiciary Act, prohibiting partisan filings by judicial candidates and requiring their nomination by citizen petition. The law was declared unconstitutional by the Montana Supreme Court in 1911 since it failed to provide any means for nominating candidates for newly created judgeships. State v. O'Leary, 115 P. 204 (Mont. 1911). In 1935, the legislature again made judicial elections nonpartisan, prohibiting political parties from endorsing, contributing to, or making expenditures to support or oppose judicial candidates.