The Republican controlled House Judiciary, on an 11-to-8 party line vote, passed a bill that would ban the application of foreign law in Montana courts. Senate Bill 97 now moves to the House floor for debate.
Representative Shane Morigeau, D-Missoula, spoke against the bill. The attorney and member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes it would negatively impact tribal members because they are citizens of their tribe, the state, and the U.S.
"I believe that the bill would bring into question the common international legal agreements that many of our tribal members may have, such as the Blackfeet Tribe," he said because the Blackfeet's historical lands cross the U.S.-Canada border. "So I think it would have a disproportionate effect on native people in that regard. We (CSKT) also have the Kootenai tribe which also crosses borders with Canada."