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U.S. Supreme Court

Can the governor's amendatory veto bring back the mail ballot option for the special election? We parse Quist's new TV ads and his decision not to participate in a public broadcasting statewide debate. We also discuss what Gianforte gains or loses by keeping a low profile. Then we look at how Tester's Gorsuch vote might affect his re-election chances next year. Finally, we remember the well-respected former Helena legislator Mignon Waterman who died this week.

Montana Senator Jon Tester.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Sen. Jon Tester released a statement to the press Sunday, saying that after "thoughtful deliberation, late nights, and the counsel of thousands of Montanans," he's decided he "cannot support the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch."

Gorsuch is President Trump's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.

You can read Sen. Tester's statement on the Gorsuch nomination here.

Sen. Tester says he hasn't decided how he'll vote on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.
PD

Yesterday Montana's Republican Attorney General Tim Fox sent Senator Jon Tester a letter, urging the Democrat to vote to confirm Judge Neil Gorsuch as the next justice to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The letter comes as Senate Democratic leadership is urging a filibuster of Gorsuch's nomination. Time magazine says 35 Senate Democrats have pledged to vote to block Gorsuch, that's just six votes shy of the number needed for a successful filibuster. Montana Public Radio asked Tester how he'll vote on Gorsuch earlier this week.

NPR Politics team will live blog the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. The live blog will include streaming video, with posts featuring highlights, context and analysis from NPR reporters and correspondents.

President Trump's pick for the Supreme Court is testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. It is Day 2 of what is expected to be three days of hearings on Judge Neil Gorsuch's nomination. If confirmed, Gorsuch would fill the high court seat left vacant in February 2016, after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Courtesy EPA

A component of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan that the agency says is optional is being attacked by 25 state attorneys general, including Montana’s. 

Medical marijuana sign.
Flickr user Laurie Avocado (CC-BY-2)

Medical marijuana advocates in Montana are running out of options to delay a state law that could shut down pot shops here in August. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it won't hear an appeal from the Montana Cannabis Industry Association over the 2011 Montana Marijuana Act.

UM enrollment official talks SCOTUS affirmative action ruling
YouTube

Thursday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of University of Texas at Austin’s affirmative action plan.

Staff in the admissions office at the University of Montana say that at least in the immediate future, not much will change.

Senator Jon Tester met with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland on Capitol Hill, May 12.
Courtesy Jon Tester

Sen. Jon Tester today met with U.S. Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland. Tester says he felt both impressed and aggravated after their meeting.

On this edition of “Campaign Beat”, we talk about the viability – and sincerity - of the campaigns of the two new candidates in the governor’s race; the last minute entry into the race for attorney general; Montana’s two senators’ views of President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee; and who’s speaking at this weekend’s annual democratic Mansfield/Metcalf dinner.

U.S. Supreme Court
PD

Montana’s congressional delegation is deeply divided over President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee. 

President Obama says his nominee, appeals court judge Merrick Garland, deserves a full hearing and an up or down Senate confirmation vote.

But Republicans control the Senate. They don’t want to give the president a chance to influence the court’s ideological balance before he leaves office.

Montana’s Republican Senator, Steve Daines, says the next Supreme Court Justice will have far-reaching impacts for a generation.

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