Judge rejects lawsuit over districting commission
HELENA, Mont. (AP) -- A state judge has rejected arguments that Montana's legislative districting commission wrongly met in private earlier this year to assign senators. District Judge Mike Menahan ruled Friday that the Districting and Apportionment Commission didn't break any open meeting laws. He says any decisions involving a quorum of commission members was open as a public meeting and allowed for public comment. Some residents in a district that covers Lewistown and other nearby towns are upset at the way the commission assigned them a Democratic holdover senator from another area. They filed a lawsuit earlier this year. An appeal to the Montana Supreme Court is expected. The commission meets every 10 years to draw new districts of roughly equal population based on updated census information.