Legislature withdraws subpeonas of jurisdiction | Regional
POLSON, Mont. – Senator Greg Hertz, R-Polson, announced Tuesday that the legislature is withdrawing subpoenas for records from the Supreme Court justices and the Montana Trustee.
Sen. Hertz chairs the Legislature’s Special Committee on Judicial Accountability and Transparency, which was formed to investigate troubling conduct within the judiciary, including the deletion of public records, the disapproval of judges who had prejudiced laws, and the questionable use of state law Medium.
“The position of the legislature all along has been that trials before judges with inherent conflicts of interest are not the appropriate way to resolve these issues,” said Senator Hertz. “By withdrawing the current subpoenas, we put an end to the lawsuits surrounding them.”
“To be clear, we expect the judiciary to publish public records, just as the legislature and executive have set out in numerous court judgments over the years,” said Senator Hertz.
The decision to withdraw the subpoenas was made in consultation with the lawmaker’s attorney at the Montana Justice Department, according to a press release.
Senator Hertz stated that withdrawing the subpoenas was the best step in advancing the special committee’s investigation and efforts to resolve problems within the judiciary:
“The first thing we saw was a judge appointed to rule on a matter he should have been disqualified for because he had already voiced his prejudice against it.
Then we learned that the court administrator had deleted public records that might help clarify the situation. The Supreme Court then issued an unprecedented weekend warrant outside of normal legal proceedings to attempt to block the legislature’s attempt to recover these records.
So far, the Supreme Court justices have been preparing to serve as judges on their own case while making charges and threats to the legislature and our legal counsel.
The withdrawal of the subpoenas gives the court the opportunity to stop digging this hole. The legislature retains all means available to us to access public records. “
Senator Hertz noted that the select committee’s work is far from over.
“We are still looking for documents and information that will provide more clarity on the problems identified in our committee’s initial report and provide legal solutions to problems in our judicial system,” he said. “I look forward to working with committee members and the judiciary as we continue this legislative investigation.”