Montana Supreme Court upholds vaccine ruling

Sam Wilson

The Montana Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with a state district court’s decision to not block a state law prohibiting vaccine mandates in most workplaces.

In a five-justice panel’s majority opinion written by Chief Justice Mike McGrath, however, the high court remanded part of the lower court’s order. The district court must reconsider whether House Bill 702 violated the constitutional requirement that bill titles reflect the subject covered by the legislation.

The law prohibits discrimination on the basis of vaccination status. It subjects businesses, government agencies and other workplaces to human rights complaints if they deny anyone employment or access to goods or services based on whether they’re vaccinated.

The law contains some exceptions for schools and long-term care facilities. Another case challenging the law in federal court has also yielded an injunction temporarily blocking the state from enforcing it against most health care providers.

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The Supreme Court otherwise upheld Richland County District Court Judge Olivia Rieger’s February order. In it, she denied Sidney-based Netzer Law Firm’s request that the law be blocked while the constitutional merits are decided, writing that it did not pose

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