Montana Supreme Court delays voter-approved victim right law - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Montana Supreme Court delays voter-approved victim right law

Posted: Updated:
MONTANA -

The Montana Supreme Court issued a stay Friday on a voter-approved victim's rights law from going into effect.
    
The state's high court said there was good cause to delay the law, dubbed Marsy's Law, from being implemented as scheduled on Saturday. The law sought to give crime victims and their families the right to participate in judicial proceedings and be notified of key developments in a case. It would also expand their privacy rights.
    
Voters approved the law as a constitutional amendment last fall, allowing Montana to become one of a handful of states to adopt the law.
    
The Montana Association of Counties, the American Civil Liberties Union and other critics filed suit earlier this month to block the law from going into effect, arguing that the initiative was wrongly presented to voters as a single measure. In light of the many changes it would make to the state constitution, they argued, that voters should have considered multiple measures.
    
In its order Friday, the state court appeared focused on deciding the matter quickly. It ordered interested parties to file written legal arguments over the next six weeks.
    
The Attorney General's Office, which is defending the law on behalf of voters, said it supported the delay.
    
"As the Montana Supreme Court will decide this case in an expedited manner, it's in the state's best interest to put Marsy's Law on pause until the outcome of the litigation is final. It makes little sense to require cities and counties across the state to expend resources on Marsy's law implementation until the case against it is resolved," said the agency's spokesman, Eric Sell.
    
Advocates for the law said they would vigorously fight to uphold the will of voters, of which 65 percent voted in favor Marsy's Law in November.
    
"Victims and criminal justice professionals have been anticipating and preparing for Marsy's Law to go into effect tomorrow," said Chuck Denowh, a spokesman for the Marsy's Law campaign in Montana. "This delay will create much confusion and ultimately deprive victims of the rights that an overwhelming majority chose to provide."
    
The law is named after Marsy Nicholas, a California college student who was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983. Her brother, Broadcom Corp. co-founder Henry Nicholas, campaigned to pass Marsy's Law first in California in 2008, then in the four other states and is now pushing to enact it in nine more.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Fundraisers to be held for motorcyclist hit by vehicle

    Fundraisers to be held for motorcyclist hit by vehicle

    Thursday, April 19 2018 1:30 AM EDT2018-04-19 05:30:13 GMT

    A fundraiser is organized to help the man who was injured during a crash that happened one week ago on Aprill 11th. Police said David John Fischer ran into the side of a car while riding his motorcycle.

    A fundraiser is organized to help the man who was injured during a crash that happened one week ago on Aprill 11th. Police said David John Fischer ran into the side of a car while riding his motorcycle.

  • Suspensions ordered for 3 Billings police officers for having sex on city property

    Suspensions ordered for 3 Billings police officers for having sex on city property

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 11:44 PM EDT2018-04-19 03:44:51 GMT

    Billings Police Chief Rich St. John confirmed three Billings police officers admitted to having sex on city property with an employee of the department.

    Billings Police Chief Rich St. John confirmed three Billings police officers admitted to having sex on city property with an employee of the department.

  • Mother says MET bus nearly hit children heading to school

    Mother says MET bus nearly hit children heading to school

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 10:13 PM EDT2018-04-19 02:13:53 GMT

    Students crossing Lake Elmo Drive to get on their school bus were nearly hit Wednesday morning. It wasn't a car that allegedly nearly hit the kids but a Billings MET Transit bus.

    Students crossing Lake Elmo Drive to get on their school bus were nearly hit Wednesday morning. It wasn't a car that allegedly nearly hit the kids but a Billings MET Transit bus.

  • Herberger's to close in Great Falls

    Herberger's to close in Great Falls

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 4:09 PM EDT2018-04-18 20:09:28 GMT

    GREAT FALLS - Another store is shutting its doors in the Electric City.  This time it's due to the liquidation of its parent company.  All Herberger stores across the nation will be closing.  A U.S. bankruptcy judge is expected to decide today on the acquisition of the Bon-Ton stores chain. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. was operating 260 stores in 24 states, largely in the Northeast and Midwest, when it filed for bankruptcy in January. Stores in Havre, Kalispell, Billings,...

    GREAT FALLS - Another store is shutting its doors in the Electric City.  This time it's due to the liquidation of its parent company.  All Herberger stores across the nation will be closing.  A U.S. bankruptcy judge is expected to decide today on the acquisition of the Bon-Ton stores chain. The Bon-Ton Stores Inc. was operating 260 stores in 24 states, largely in the Northeast and Midwest, when it filed for bankruptcy in January. Stores in Havre, Kalispell, Billings,...

  • Governor declares State of Emergency for flooding

    Governor declares State of Emergency for flooding

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 8:25 PM EDT2018-04-19 00:25:18 GMT

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Runoff from a winter that approached or exceeded record snowfall across much of Montana is washing out roads, flooding fields and spilling rivers and streams over their banks much of the northern part of the state.

    HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Runoff from a winter that approached or exceeded record snowfall across much of Montana is washing out roads, flooding fields and spilling rivers and streams over their banks much of the northern part of the state.

  • Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Company, Payscape, Opens Greenville, SC Office

    Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Company, Payscape, Opens Greenville, SC Office

    Atlanta-based financial technology company, Payscape, announces the grand opening of their office in Greenville, South Carolina and the first graduate of their Manager Candidate program, Rick Merritt. The office is...
    Atlanta-based financial technology company, Payscape, announces the grand opening of their office in Greenville, South Carolina and the first graduate of their Manager Candidate program, Rick Merritt. The office is located...
  • Latest from BIA on the officer-involved shooting in Lodge Grass

    Latest from BIA on the officer-involved shooting in Lodge Grass

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 12:03 PM EDT2018-04-18 16:03:55 GMT

    Sunday night, KULR-8 broke news that a man allegedly armed with a knife was shot and killed by a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer. Tuesday, KULR-8 also learned BIA's protocols when it comes to police shootings involving their agency.

    Sunday night, KULR-8 broke news that a man allegedly armed with a knife was shot and killed by a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer. Tuesday, KULR-8 also learned BIA's protocols when it comes to police shootings involving their agency.

  • A boom, a whoosh of air and then terror on Flight 1380

    A boom, a whoosh of air and then terror on Flight 1380

    Thursday, April 19 2018 8:07 AM EDT2018-04-19 12:07:49 GMT
    (Marty Martinez via AP). In this April 17, 2018 photo provided by Marty Martinez, Martinez, left, appears with other passengers after a jet engine blew out on the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 plane he was flying in from New York to Dallas, resulting i...(Marty Martinez via AP). In this April 17, 2018 photo provided by Marty Martinez, Martinez, left, appears with other passengers after a jet engine blew out on the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 plane he was flying in from New York to Dallas, resulting i...
    The terrifying string of events on Flight 1380 brought out acts of bravery among passengers and crew and drew across-the-board praise for the pilot.
    The terrifying string of events on Flight 1380 brought out acts of bravery among passengers and crew and drew across-the-board praise for the pilot.