Wednesday, June 7, 2023
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Judge Slams Trans Lawmaker’s Attempted Dodge of Montana House Censure

'Plaintiffs also seek injunctive relief which far outpaces the facts at issue here... '

(Abdul–Rahman Oladimeji Bello, Headline USA) A Helena district judge rejected Montana state Rep. Zooey Zephyr’s motion to return to the state legislature’s House floor, following a censure after the transgender lawmaker assailed colleagues over a bill to ban transgender surgeries for minors. 

According to the Montana Free Press, District Court Judge Mike Menahan said the “requested relief would require this Court to interfere with legislative authority in a manner that exceeds this Court’s authority. Plaintiffs also seek injunctive relief which far outpaces the facts at issue here,” in a Tuesday ruling.

Menahan added that even if the court finds that the defendants “acted unlawfully under the facts of this case, it does not have the authority to issue a broad permanent injunction to effectively remove all legislative authority under Article V Section 10 [of the Montana Constitution] in relation to a single member.”

Zephyr, who sued with Missoula County constituents, then took to Twitter to give her opinion on the court’s ruling, declaring that “The court’s decision not to reinstate me undermines the democratic principles our country was founded on,” the trans lawmaker wrote.

“I vow to continue standing for my constituents & community to fight for our democratic institutions. If we can’t get justice in the courts, we will get it in the ballot box,” she added, suggesting a re-election bid. 

The lawsuit filed on Monday came after the GOP-led House voted to bar Zephyr from attending or speaking at floor sessions after Zephyr held up a microphone for disruptors during a proceeding. 

The Daily Wire noted that this disruption occurred as GOP leadership refused to let Zephyr speak following several violations of decorum rules after Zephyr assailed lawmakers who support legislation to ban trans surgeries for minors. 

“I hope the next time there’s an invocation when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands,” Zephyr said, referring to the opening prayer. “If you use decorum to silence people who hold you accountable, all you are doing is using decorum as a tool of oppression.”

Though the censure still allowed Zephyr to vote remotely, it banned the disruptive lawmaker from returning to the Montana House floor for the rest of the legislative session.

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