WTF do U.S. Representatives do?

  • Our U.S. Representatives are Montana’s voice in Congress, where there are a total of 435 Representatives from across the nation. 

Thanks to population growth reflected in the 2020 Census, Montana is officially a two-Rep state for the first time since 1990, which makes this election exciting AF! Representatives vote on laws and budgets, introduce bills and resolutions, offer amendments, and are responsible for making sure their constituents’ needs are reflected in national conversations.

Why should I give a shit?

  • The U.S. House of Representatives has power to vote on laws that impact the whole nation, including us here in Montana. With the addition of a second seat in the House, Montanans have a more proportionally accurate vote in this election than we’ve had in years, meaning we get more say in who is representing us on a national scale. You don’t want to waste that power!

Montana suPREME cOURT

WTF does the Montana Supreme Court do?

  • The Montana Supreme Court is made up of seven people: six Associate Justices and one Chief Justice. Each judge on the bench is elected by Montanans in a nonpartisan election and serves an eight-year term. This year, there are two seats up for voters to decide on. 

The Montana Supreme Court hears cases that have been appealed in lower (district) courts, which means that one side of the dispute  thinks the original decision was wrong, unfair, or unconstitutional. There are some types of cases— like those that center around a constitutional question that would affect the whole state— where the Montana Supreme Court has original jurisdiction, meaning they are the first court to hear a case. 

Why should I give a shit? 

  • The Montana Supreme Court is responsible for interpreting and applying our state’s constitution. There are a lot of things that are broken AF about Montana politics, but our constitution includes unique protections for things like privacy and a healthful environment. The Supreme Court also provides vital checks and balances on the power of the legislative and executive branches of our state government.

Ballot initiatives

WTF is a ballot initiative?

  • There are a whole bunch of different categories of ballot initiatives. They all have one thing in common: they are proposed laws that can be passed or rejected by voters (that’s you!). 

In Montana, any person or group can propose a ballot initiative or constitutional amendment; if they pass a legal review and gather enough signatures, that proposal will appear on the ballot. CI-121 is an example of a constitutional amendment proposed by a group of citizens through the initiative process.

The Montana State Legislature can also refer proposed laws to voters through legislative referendums (like LR-131, which originated in the MT legislature as HB167). The legislature can also propose constitutional amendments that will then be voted on by the state’s electorate (again, that’s you!). This is how CA-48 ended up on your ballot this year.

LR-131: Medical Care Requirements for ‘Born Alive’ Infants: The measure would require medical care to be provided to infants born alive by classifying a born-alive infant as “a legal person for all purposes under the laws of the state … entitled to the protections of the laws, including the right to appropriate and reasonable medical care and treatment.” The law would require infants that are born alive after an induced labor, a cesarean section, or another method to receive medical care.

Currently, Montana law states that a person commits an offense if they “purposely, knowingly, or negligently cause the death of a premature infant born alive, if the infant is viable.” If passed, this law would primarily impact families dealing with inductions due to serious unforeseen medical conditions of the infant and/or the pregnant person.

A “no” vote opposes this law and:

  • allows Montanans to make private medical decisions about their health care,
  • maintains a family’s right to determine the level of care they want provided in consultation with their medical team, and
  • allows medical professionals to exercise their best medical judgement without fear of prosecution or penalty.

Those who oppose: Provide list of MRRC members and let Forward Montana decide which organizations to list based on the audience. +AGOG  and all Democratic State Representatives and Senators including Kim Abbott, Laurie Bishop, Kathy Kelker, and Diane Sands.

A “yes” vote supports this ballot measure to:

  • state that infants born alive at any stage of development are legal persons; 
  • require medical care to be provided to infants born alive after an induced labor, cesarean section, attempted abortion, or another method; and
  • establish a $50,000 fine and/or 20 years in prison as the maximum penalty for violating the law.

Those who support: Montana Family Foundation; all Republican State Representatives and Senators including Matt Rieger, Barry Usher, Derek Skees, and Keith Rieger

CA-48: requires search warrant to access a person’s electronic data

  • What does a “NO” vote mean?
    • A “NO” vote on CA-48 means that you support law enforcement officers being able to access a person’s electronic data (like search histories, texts, cell phone contacts, etc.) without a search warrant.
  • What does a “YES” vote mean?
    • A “YES” vote on CA-48 means that you think law enforcement officers should have to obtain a search warrant in order to access a person’s electronic data (like search histories, texts, cell phone contacts, etc.), and that you support a constitutional amendment to enforce this rule.
  • Who’s for it?
  • Who’s against it?