Tim Fox

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox
MT DOJ

Montana and twelve other states sued the federal government Monday to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from enacting a new rule extending the Clean Water Act to small streams and wetlands.

State Attorney General Tim Fox says the Obama administration went too far by asserting control over waterways that belong to the states.

Josh Burnham

Bozeman's Stacey Haugland never thought she'd live to see the day when gay marriage would be legalized nationwide. The Supreme Court today guaranteed that right.

Medical marijuana advocates accuse state Attorney General Tim Fox of  defying the will of voters.

Montanans voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2004. In 2011 state lawmakers passed a bill to tighten rules governing the sale of the drug.

Fox's office this week filed a brief with the state Supreme Court to reverse District Judge James Reynolds' ruling that blocks parts of that more-strict medical marijuana law.

Montana Republicans Divided Over Open Primaries

Mar 18, 2015
Michael Wright - UM Community News Service

Rep. Steve Fitzpatrick, the tall, bespectacled Republican from Great Falls, stood up on the House floor in late February and explained his bill that would allow local political party officers to be appointed by the state party instead of elected in primary elections.

But the bill was about something bigger, Montana’s century-old open primary law.

“It’s really a fundamental question with this bill,” Fitzpatrick said. “Do you believe in open primaries or do you believe in closed primaries?”

Community Medical Center, Missoula, MT
Josh Burnham

Attorney General Tim Fox says he needs more time to analyze how $65 million from the sale of Missoula’s Community Medical Center should be used.

Fox approved the sale itself January 12. Still pending is Community’s proposal for where money from the sale should go.

"Because the proposal was submitted rather late in the process, we felt we did not have sufficient time to review that," said John Barnes, spokesman for the attorney general.

Eric Whitney

On the calendar it may have been Presidents Day, but for the Senate Judiciary Committee, Monday was no holiday.

News Roundup: Week Five At The Montana Legislature

Feb 8, 2015
William Marcus

Juneau calls for early education, tax cuts pass, lawmakers consider drones on public lands and Fox supports bill to combat human trafficking.

In her address to a joint session of the Montana Legislature last week, Superintendent Denise Juneau praised Montana’s schools and called for more investment in them.

“We have a lot to be proud of in this state,” she said.

Juneau listed accomplishments like the highest graduation rates in the state’s history and growth in organizations like the Future Farmers of America.

Montana Legislature

Montana lawmakers are considering a bill that would deal with one of the worst side effects of the oil boom in Eastern Montana: the trafficking of women and underage girls for prostitution.

Stephanie Anderson, who describes herself as a sex trafficking victim told the House Judiciary Committee about her introduction to the sex trade.

Eric Whitney

The sale of Missoula Community Medical Center became official today. The $75 million deal took effect one minute after midnight, and hospital executives celebrated later at a press conference.

The new owners are Billings Clinic and Tennessee-based RegionalCare Hospital Partners.

Marty Rash, CEO of RegionalCare says the deal should expand medical offerings on both sides of the continental divide.

Community Medical Center, Missoula, MT
Josh Burnham

A Missoula Community Medical Center board member says the only issue left to resolve in the sale of the hospital is whether $10 million from the sale can go to the University of Montana Foundation. But Attorney General Tim Fox appears to be taking a broader view.

Courtesy photo

Attorney General Tim Fox has approved the sale of the Community Medical Center in Missoula. His office issued this press release Monday afternoon:

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox wants his department to be notified any time online hackers steal personal information about Montana residents. 

Fox’s bill, being sponsored by Butte Democrat Ryan Lynch, was heard in the House Judiciary Committee Monday morning. 

Deputy Attorney General Jon Bennion says the Consumer Protection office needs to be kept in the loop when Montanans are the victims of data theft.

Southeastern Montana's Crow Nation says President Obama’s pending climate plan would wreak economic havoc on the already-impoverished reservation.

Under the administration's proposal, states must reduce their carbon emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is going up to bat for the Crow Nation. Fox says he's troubled by how the President is unilaterally guiding this climate proposal.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox has joined 16 other states in a lawsuit challenging President Obama's executive action on immigration.

Fox says the order, issued November 20, “is nothing but an unlawfully adopted legislative rule...and a clear violation of the separation of powers.”

Flickr user Archie McPhee (CC-BY-NC-2.0)

Now that a federal judge has struck down Montana’s ban on gay marriage, questions remain about how that affects businesses who object to same-sex marriage for religious or other reasons.

University of Montana Law Professor Anthony Johnstone says civil rights laws that prevent businesses from discriminating against customers don’t include protections for sexual orientation.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox’s appeal of the federal court order striking down the state’s gay marriage ban is due by February 27.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court Appeals will hear the case, and has already ruled similar bans are unconstitutional.

University of Montana Law Professor Anthony Johnstone says Wednesdays’ ruling striking down the gay marriage ban here won’t be final until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the issue.

Newscast 11-21-14

Nov 21, 2014

 Same-sex Marriage Appeal

A deadline’s been set for opening arguments against the court order striking down Montana’s gay marriage ban. State Attorney General Tim Fox says its his duty to uphold Montana’s constitution. The gay marriage ban is a constitutional amendment.

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of appeals has given Fox until February 27 to submit his arguments for why the law does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

Open Meeting Laws

Courtesy ACLU of Montana

For certain Montana residents today will be one of those days when they remember where they were when they heard the news. Sue Hawthorne was out shopping with her sister when, as she puts it, her phone started ‘exploding’ with calls and texts from friends. Federal Judge Brian Morris had ruled in a lawsuit in which Hawthorne was a plaintiff. Her marriage to Adel Johnson of Helena, performed in Washington state several months ago, was now legally recognized in Montana:

Josh Burnham

A federal judge today struck down Montana’s ban on gay marriage. Attorney General Tim Fox says he’ll appeal.

Judge Brian Morris in Great Falls ruled that Montana’s law violates the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

The law was challenged by four couples represented by the ACLU of Montana.

The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over Montana, in September ruled similar gay marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada unconstitutional. But conflicting decisions remain in other federal courts, and the U.S. Supreme court has not issued a final word.

Montana Department of Justice

Anyone opposing, supporting or just curious about the pending sale of Missoula’s Community Hospital will have a chance to weigh in next week.

Billings Clinic and RegionalCare Hospital Partners are buying the non-profit Medical Center for over $67 million; that’s if the deal is approved by Montana Attorney General Tim Fox. Spokesman John Barnes says the AG's office isn't legally required to hold public forums on the proposed sale.

Courtesy photo

Community Medical Center in Missoula announced today that it has reached an agreement to sell its assets for 67-million-dollars. The 151-bed hospital is selling to a partnership between Billings Clinic and a Tennessee-based hospital management firm.

The agreement, if approved by Montana Attorney General Tim Fox, would transform Community Medical from a not-for-profit corporation into a for-profit hospital.

John Barnes, a spokesman for the attorney general, explains why his office is involved.

Plagiarism, Citizen Initiatives, REAL ID And Logging

Jul 25, 2014

This Week in Montana politics.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox
MT DOJ

The Department of Homeland Security has granted Montana an extension to comply with stringent federal driver's license rules under the REAL ID Act.

Edward O'Brien

Missoula County Attorney Fred Van Valkenburg met with the County Commission today to discuss the most recent revelations concerning his ongoing dispute with the United States Department of Justice.

Supporters of an initiative looking to expand Medicaid in the state can now begin gathering signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.

The Attorney General’s Office approved the Healthy Montana Plan this week after finding problems with earlier versions of the initiative.

Capitol Reporter Dan Boyce says opponents still believe the measure violates the state constitution. 

Dan Boyce

Montana Congressman Steve Daines announced plans Thursday to introduce a bill repealing portions of the 2005 REAL ID Act related to federally-mandated security protocols for driver’s licenses and other state-issued ID cards.

“In recent months, Montanans have become increasingly concerned about the federal government’s access to Montana’s personal information,” Daines said during a press conference in the state capitol building’s old Supreme Court chambers.

Attorney General Tim Fox’s office said Tuesday a group of candidates have been nominated for the board of a new healthcare foundation created following the sale of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana to an out-of-state company.

Dan Boyce

The Montana Department of Justice launched a poster campaign Thursday aimed at raising awareness of human trafficking in the state. Five-thousand of the posters will be put up in rest stops and other public locations around the state.

A bill passed by the state legislature created the poster campaign.They are written in both English and Spanish and highlight a toll free number to a national help line and a Q-R code for smart phones. 

Attorney General Tim Fox is asking the Montana Supreme Court to prohibit a District Judge from holding a resentencing hearing this Friday on the 30-day prison sentence a former Billings teacher received for raping his 14-year-old student.

The case has prompted widespread criticism from around the country.

AG blasts proposed BLM 'fracking' regulations

Aug 30, 2013

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox is formally protesting new proposed ‘fracking’ regulations from the Bureau of Land Management. He signed a letter last Friday to U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell along with four other Attorneys General—from Alabama, Alaska, Oklahoma and West Virginia expressing strong objections to these new hydraulic fracturing rules being considered by the BLM.

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