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Letter

James Brown is the Right Choice for the Montana Supreme Court

We support James Brown because his record shows that he will apply the law equally and fairly

By Wylie Galt & Mark Blasdel

During the 2021 legislative session, our Legislature passed historic legislation that all Montanans can be proud of. We cut taxes, defended our freedoms from government overreach, protected the unborn, secured our elections, and much more. Republicans from all across Montana came to Helena for the 67th legislative session with a clear and resounding mandate from Montana voters to pass these bills and we are proud to report that we did it. 

Unfortunately, rather than accepting defeat and changing their message to appeal to more Montana voters, Montana Democrats turned to their liberal friends in the courts to accomplish what they failed to do during the legislative session – defeat good constitutional legislation that the majority of Montanans wanted. Rather than dismissing the Democrats’ desperate legal maneuvers, activist judges in district courts and the Montana Supreme Court have sided with their Democratic donors and buddies by striking down and tying up duly passed, constitutional Montana law. 

As frustrating and discouraging as the actions of these activist judges may be, we all have the opportunity to begin righting the ship in this year’s elections. One of the most liberal judges on the Montana Supreme Court is up for election. Justice Ingrid Gustafson has made a career out of being soft on criminals and legislating from the bench to support her liberal donors. Her latest campaign finance report shows that 70% of her donors are lawyers or their spouses. Many of these same lawyers have been major donors to Democratic candidates and their causes. Even worse, Gustafson has accepted money from more than a dozen attorneys that have litigation pending before the Montana Supreme Court. 

While Democrats are lining up to try and keep Gustafson in power, we are supporting a true constitutional candidate who will never legislate from the bench. Current Public Service Commission Chairman James Brown is running against Gustafson to begin restoring confidence in Montana’s judiciary again. Brown has been endorsed by Gov. Greg Gianforte, Sen. Steve Daines, Congressman Matt Rosendale, and Attorney General Austin Knudsen as well as by 83 legislators. 

Unlike Gustafson, we don’t know how Brown will rule on issues that may come before him. What we do know is that he will uphold the law, not legislate from the bench, and will certainly not be another political activist judge. His experience as chairman of the PSC has already given him insight into settling disputes between a broad range of people in a fair and impartial manner and we know he will take that experience and put it to good use, for all Montanans, on the Supreme Court. 

Democrats are lining up to support Gustafson because they know she is in their pockets and will always vote for their interests. We support James Brown because his record shows that he will apply the law equally and fairly rather than serving political interests. We encourage all Montanans to vote for James Brown for election to the Montana Supreme Court in the June primary election, and then again in November.

Wylie Galt, Speaker of the House 
Mark Blasdel, State Senate President

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