Select a State:

State of Montana

Judicial Selection in the States: Montana

Overview

News

A plan (HB 1303) to revamp Colorado s Judicial Performance Evaluation system is set for a vote by the House this week. The plan would...

Read More...

An effort to improve voter education when it comes to judicial elections in California has cleared the Assembly Judiciary Committee. AB 1463 as amended creates...

Read More...

A constitutional amendment discussed here and here to give Delaware s governor and senate more time to consider judicial nominations cleared its final hurdle. With...

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.