Helena Judge dismisses Zephyr’s lawsuit over legislative disciplinary action

HELENA — A judge in Helena has dismissed the lawsuit brought by state Rep. Zooey Zephyr challenging the constitutionality of disciplinary actions taken by legislative Republicans against her during the recent session. District Court Judge Mike Menahan deemed the lawsuit moot, stating that Zephyr’s disciplinary measures ceased with the conclusion of the session.

In April, Zephyr, a transgender woman representing D-Missoula, faced a speech restriction on the House floor for several days after criticizing Republican lawmakers. House Speaker Rep. Matt Regier, R-Kalispell, justified not recognizing her to speak by expressing concerns about her ability to maintain decorum.

During a particular session, Zephyr’s supporters protested Regier’s decision, causing a disruption by chanting “Let her speak!” from the House gallery. Law enforcement eventually cleared the gallery, and Zephyr, while at her desk, held her microphone overhead throughout the protest.