Helena, Mont. – Last Friday, the House of Representatives passed Senate Joint Resolution 15, which sends a united legislative message to the Montana Supreme Court and Governor Steve Bullock that the Montana Legislature will not tolerate the unconstitutional content of the American Bar Association (ABA) Rule 8.4g.
The ABA, a non-profit Illinois based political advocacy group, is trying to push an out of touch unconstitutional political agenda on Montana citizens by restricting the free speech of Montana lawyer’s. This rule would authorize the Supreme Court to suspend or disbar an attorney if the attorney engages in certain restricted free speech or freely exercises his or her religion. This rule would also effectively prevent an attorney from representing religious organizations in Montana.
Senate Joint Resolution 15 states:
“A joint resolution of the Senate and House of Representatives of the state of Montana making the determination that it would be an unconstitutional act of legislation, in violation of the constitution of the state of Montana, and would violate the First Amendment rights of the citizens of Montana, should the Supreme Court of the state of Montana enact proposed model rule of professional conduct 8.4g.”
Senator David Howard, R – Park City, who sponsored the resolution, gave the following statement:
“The Legislature is the only branch of government which may enact legislation, period. It is unacceptable to allow out of touch special interest groups to try to come into our state and circumvent the Constitution to enact their radical agenda. This resolution stands up for our citizens right to free speech and the separation of powers. We will not allow legislating from the bench in Montana.”
The Montana Senate approved Senate Joint Resolution 15 on February 24, 2017