Capitol celebration planned for 50th anniversary of Montana Constitution

PHIL DRAKE

“We the people of Montana grateful to God for the quiet beauty of our state, the grandeur of our mountains, the vastness of our rolling plains, and desiring to improve the quality of life, equality of opportunity and to secure the blessings of liberty for this and future generations do ordain and establish this constitution.” 

— The preamble to the Montana Constitution, written by delegates Mae Nan (Robinson) Ellingson and Bob Campbell

And now there are 10.

Those remaining of the 100 delegates to the 1972 Montana Constitutional Convention will gather June 15-16 in Helena to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a document that some describe as groundbreaking and visionary, while others have groused it needs fixing.

“I’m so excited. It is going to be my last hurrah,” said Arlyne Reichert of Great Falls, who at 96 is the oldest living delegate.

“It has stood the test of time,” she said of the state constitution, adding that “on balance it is highly respected.”

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Reichert noted the provisions of a right to a clean and healthful environment and a right to privacy were ahead of their time. The delegates included

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