Judge Dismisses Gov. Schweitzer’s Lawsuit Against Legislature

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – A District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit Gov. Brian Schweitzer filed against the Montana Legislature over a spending bill.

Schweitzer sued the 2009 Legislature in September, arguing a companion bill to the main budget bill unconstitutionally dealt with multiple subject matters. He sought a ruling to make sure it didn’t happen again.

Schweitzer argued that his constitutional veto power was “essentially nullified” with regard to the bill, because a veto would have meant calling a special session.

The Legislature asked District Judge Kathy Seeley to dismiss the case, arguing that the governor was not personally injured and did not have standing to file the lawsuit.

Seeley wrote Wednesday that the governor’s veto power was not jeopardized, he just chose not to exercise it. She ruled he did not have standing to file the suit.

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