NRO: McGrath Should Recuse Himself from Election Decision

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By the way, Jeff Laszloffy with The Montana Family Foundation delivers a must-listen report on the Van Dyke story.  Click here to listen to his latest podcast.


Here’s a must-read story from National Review’s Carrie Severino bringing national attention to efforts by the left to allow a Montana Supreme Court Justice to run unopposed in the upcoming November election.

Severino highlights the effort by powerful members of the Montana Trial Lawyers Association (MTLA) to keep Lawrence Van Dyke off the ballot with this:  A Case Study on Politicized Judging from Montana

Here’s an excerpt:

A native Montanan, VanDyke has been a member of the Montana State Bar since 2005, and thus complies with the state constitution’s requirement that a candidate for judicial office be a member of the state bar for at least five years. But his opponents at the MTLA have engineered a lawsuit that grasps at the thinnest of legal straws to argue that, because he was on inactive status during a portion of that time when he practiced out of state, he is not eligible.

Now the Montana Supreme Court is set to hear the appeal, but that court with its reputation for politicized rulings could be even less impartial than normal: of the six sitting justices, Justice Mike Wheat is VanDyke’s opponent in the upcoming election, and Chief Justice Mike McGrath was his first campaign donor. It would be manifestly unfair to have VanDyke’s eligibility to run be determined by a court including either of those two justices. 

While it takes a lot of chutzpah to flout clear U.S. Supreme Court precedent, hearing a case in which one is so obviously biased could do even more damage to the judicial office in Montana. I hope Chief Justice McGrath and Justice Wheat are quick to step aside to allow a neutral court to decide what should be a simple case.


J. C. Kantorowicz – Great Falls

Friday, May 02, 2014 7:18 AM

If memory serves me correctly, Mike McGrath was the Lewis & Clark Co attorney many years ago was I was persecuted for protecting my private property from destruction by state (of Montana) sponsored terrorists. When all was said and done…..

McGrath said to me, “If you had only asked for forgiveness, we would have dropped the charges.”

That statement demonstrates the character of the bum…….

Al Smith

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 9:00 PM

Our Montana Supreme Court is political? Biased? Somewhat less than impartial? Really? A few years ago when a man was exonerated for a crime based on DNA evidence, Mike McGrath stated he might still be guilty. Whoa doggies! He was Attorney General back then if memory serves me correctly. What is it about those who held that office? Take Marc Racicot for instance. Racicot still can’t bring himself to admit there could have been possible errors in the prosecution and now the persecution of Barry Beach. My advice is be very afraid of the Montana legal system!

But, I stray. It seems VanDyke has run afoul of some powerful political forces and it’s obvious to many Montanans that a few select elite run this state the way they want it run. No matter if you are a Barry Beach or a Lawrence Van Dyke, it’s best not expect justice in Montana.

J. C. Kantorowicz – Great Falls

Wednesday, May 07, 2014 6:08 AM

You are absolutely correct! When Racicot was Governor, he had the opportunity to affirm the concept of “Private Property Rights”.

He declined…….

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