Ex-state supreme court justice blasts suggestions to change Constitution, lawmaker calls for debate

Nelson

A former state Supreme Court judge said Montana has the most progressive Constitution in the country and it is up to the people to keep it that way, and he blasted suggestions by a lawmaker to make changes to the document now entering its 50th year of being revised.

His comments have prompted that legislator to challenge the judge to a debate. 

James Nelson said Wednesday toward the end of nearly one-hour-long webinar on Montana’s Constitution that people applaud and vote for politicians who tell them what they want to hear. 

He said that has manifested itself in the way people vote for candidates not because of what they can do for us, but to hurt perceived enemies. 

“It is not what you can do for me, it is how you are going to marginalize, demonize and nullify those who don’t agree with my partisan or religious ideologies,” Nelson said, adding that author Tom Nichols calls it the “power of resentment.”

Nelson, who served as an associated justice on the state Supreme Court from 1993-2012, said this is how governments are turned over to those who would

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