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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Make your voice heard in selection of new judge

Dear Editor,

Everyone should appreciate the Montana Judicial Nomination Commission efforts for holding interviews July 10th in Glendive to replace 7th Judicial District Judge Richard Simonton. A special thanks goes out to Lois Menzies –– Office of Court Administrator/Montana Supreme Court. Lois Menzies has made sure proceedings were public and all matters transparent.

As Jason Stuart’s article in the Ranger’s July 13th issue pointed out, the Commission forwarded three qualified applicants to the governor for appointment, and the governor alone will make the appointment.The story does not end there! Lois Menzies made known “there is no prohibition against contacting the governor during the nomination process”. Chances are you will never speak to Governor Bullock, but when I recently called, a staffer recorded my name, address, and the message I wanted to get to the Governor. Before you call I would ask you to educate yourself a little bit, on the process of the appointment to the vacancy of judge in the 7th District. There is a treasure of facts and information contained on the website MTSupremeCourt@mt.gov / Judicial Nomination Commission/ Seventh Judicial Judgeship Vacancy. This contains the official announcement of Judge Simonton’s notice to retire, nomination and appointment schedule, deadlines, news release soliciting applications, applications in writing of all person who applied, and public comments. You may have some questions as I did, i.e. how did a South Dakota Government Agency make comments on April 21, 2017, six days before Judge Simonton’s vacancy was release under a public notice April 27, 2017 ? How will all the bureaucratic agencies benefit by writing letters of support for one applicant, how did those bureaucratic offices know to publicly support one applicant weeks before that applicant applied May 18, 2017? None of my questions are a matter of legal or not, but was it fair to all applicants. So read, think it over, and absolutely write or call Governor Bullock. Governor Bullock welcomes your letters at P.O. Box 200801-Helena, Mt. 59620-Fax 406-444-5529-Phone 406-444-3111 or toll free 855-318-1330.


Thank You!


Pat Mischel


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