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A Montana judge has rejected Rep. Zooey Zephyr’s legal bid to overturn being barred from the state House floor for the remainder of the year on the grounds that it is outside his authority to overrule state lawmakers.
District Court Judge Mike Menahan cited the importance of maintaining the separation of powers between the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, stating that the plaintiffs’ “requested relief would require this Court to interfere with legislative authority in a manner that exceeds this Court’s authority,” reports the Associated Press.
Zephyr has been barred from speaking on the floor of the Montana House since April 20, following comments made in opposition to SB 99, which prohibits doctors from performing experimental sex changes on minors. Zephyr accused Republican lawmakers of having blood on their hands for supporting the bill, which was signed by Governor Greg Gianforte on April 28.
Zephyr was then expelled from the floor after protesters stormed the House demanding that Zephyr be allowed to speak. Zephyr stood with microphone raised while the protesters chanted “let her speak!” Seven arrests were made.
Speaking to the Associated Press, Zephyr said Menahan’s decision was “entirely wrong.”
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