Saturday, September 18, 2021

Vain justices?

| June 9, 2021 6:45 AM

Do you remember reading The Emperor’s New Clothes in grade school? It was about a vain emperor who gets exposed to his subjects.

The same thing is happening in Montana right now with our Supreme Court. The vain justices are trying to make us all believe that they are nonpartisan. It was exposed by the Republican legislature when asking for e-mails regarding legislation during the last session.

When their administrator admitted she deleted emails of intense legislative, legal, and public interest what did the newspaper editorial boards, journalism professors, attorneys and right-to-know interest groups do?

They all pretended the emperors had new clothes and never questioned a thing. Not one of them suggested otherwise, unlike the young boy in the book.

The very groups of journalists who routinely have FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests of legislators have remained mum on the misconduct by the judicial branch. Only the editorial board in Butte has said anything about the ‘clothes’. They went in the total opposite direction, however, and told the legislature to “knock it off.”

(You subjects hush your mouth!) i.e. there’s nothing to see here!

Hans Christian Andersen wrote the tale over a 100 years ago though it still applies to Montana today. We need someone in the newspaper industry to be that little boy who will speak up and recognize the importance of the documents sent to the judicial branch of government and our right to know.

Perhaps in knowing and seeing the facts, the taxpayers will then make their own determination: Are the emperors as naked as jaybirds trying to defend a nonpartisan position that doesn’t exist?

Dee Brown

Hungry Horse

Retired Legislator of 16 years