Frontier Institute Statement In Support Of HB 605
Lawmakers can strengthen the rights of Montanans by limiting judicial bias toward the government
HELENA – Today, the Frontier Institute offered support for HB 605, a bill to eliminate wrongful judicial bias and maximize individual liberty.
HB 605 follows Frontier Institute’s recommendations to eliminate harmful legal doctrines of judicial deference towards the government, requiring instead that Montana judges examine regulations without bias toward a government agency’s interpretation of laws or rules. HB 605 also instructs courts to resolve any ambiguity in interpreting regulations in favor of individual liberty.
“As lawmakers look to strengthen the rights of Montanans, limiting the judiciary’s bias towards government could be a powerful way to restore the constitutional separation of powers and ensure the courts err on the side of liberty,” said Chris Isaacs, a Policy Analyst for the Frontier Institute. “HB 605 will ensure consistent and unbiased judicial interpretation of the laws and rules that impact Montanan’s everyday lives.”
Frontier Institute has noted the importance of eliminating judicial deference doctrines:
- Judicial deference allows for government overreach via rulemaking that consolidates the power of unelected bureaucrats and undermines the authority of the legislature.
- Montana’s current standard of judicial deference is inconsistent and itself ambiguous, leaving decisions up to the personal bias of a judge.
- US Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch has explained that judicial deference doctrines allow a government agency to “reverse its current view 180 degrees anytime based merely on the shift of political winds and still prevail [in court].”
- Eleven states have eliminated wrongful judicial bias in recent years.
- Eliminating wrongful judicial bias protects the separation of powers and promotes the rule of law by establishing an incentive for clear and specific regulations.