A settlement in our case means Native American voters in Wolf Point will have the representation they are due under the federal Voting Rights Act. Old districts violated the Voting Rights Act by defying the principle of one person, and diluting the political power of the Native American community. Now every person’s vote will count equally.
50 years after the landmark case Gideon v. Wainwright, the promise of public defense for every defendant who can’t afford one still remains unfullfilled. In Montana, the Office of the Public Defender is a vast improvement over Montana’s old county-by-county indigent defense, but it remains underfunded.
A fair Montana is one in which everyone has equal opportunity to employment, housing and public accommodations. Bozeman passed an ordinance in May to prevent discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Billings voted one down in August, but our work on the issue is not over.