A transgender Montana Democrat can forget about returning to the state legislature after a judge’s ruling. A court ruling will prevent Rep. Zooey Zephyr from returning to the floor of the Montana House of Representatives for the duration of the 2023 session, according to KSMP-TV. Zephyr was banned from the House floor for conduct unbecoming of a state legislator. The progressive Democrat claimed that Republican members of the Montana House had “blood on your hands” in an April floor speech defending sex change surgeries for minors.
A two-thirds majority in the Montana House voted to (temporarily) suspend Zephyr from the House floor for violating the legislature’s decorum rules after he accused his peers of carrying out “torture” against transgender persons. Zephyr’s speaking privileges were earlier revoked until he apologized for his allegations of violence. Zephyr sued the state of Montana, state House Speaker Matt Regier and the state legislature’s sergeant-at-arms in a bid to overturn the body’s disciplinary actions toward him, according to ABC News. However, District Court Judge Mike Menahan said that he didn’t have the power to restore Zephyr’s floor privileges at the state house in a May 2 ruling, according to KSMP. Doing so “would require this court to interfere with legislative authority in a manner that exceeds this court’s authority,” Menahan explained. The judge pointed to the legal concept of separation of powers in his five-page ruling — defending the Montana House’s constitutional privilege to discipline its own members independently of the state judicial branch. Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen hailed Menahan’s ruling for defending the timeless American legal concept. “Today’s decision is a win for the rule of law and the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution,” Knudsen said in a statement. Zephyr slammed the ruling in a tweet after his ban from the legislature was affirmed. “If we can’t get justice in the courts, we will get it in the ballot box,” the progressive urged.
The Montana House today passed a bill to ban sex change surgeries for minors.Their transgender Democrat colleague Rep. Zooey Zephyr told them “I hope the next time you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands.” pic.twitter.com/VNEqR3NM4l — Greg Price (@greg_price11) April 18, 2023
Since his ban, Zephyr has participated in legislative proceedings of the Montana House remotely, according to ABC. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
The court’s decision not to reinstate me undermines the democratic principles our country was founded on.I vow to continue standing for my constituents & community to fight for our democratic institutions. If we can’t get justice in the courts, we will get it in the ballot box. pic.twitter.com/cBgXOnIX8K — Rep. Zooey Zephyr (@ZoAndBehold) May 2, 2023