A TEA Party justice on the Montana Supreme Court says that public censure and a month suspension for Montana judge who said a 14-year-old rape victim appeared “older than her chronological age” is too harsh a penalty.
The Montana Supreme Court last week ordered Judge G. Todd Baugh be publicly censured, as the Judicial Standards Commission had recommended. They also gave him a 31-day suspension without pay for his misconduct.
All the justices agreed except one. The Montana Growth Network backed justice Laurie McKinnon thought censure AND a suspension was too harsh.
The Montana Supreme Court ruled that censure wasn’t enough because:
“There is no place in the Montana judiciary for perpetuating the stereotype that women and girls are responsible for sexual crimes committed against them.”
Yet Laurie McKinnon penned a dissent longer than the original ruling. McKinnon objected to the harsher sentence the Montana Supreme Court handed down.
It was revealed last month by Michael Beckel for the Center for Public Integrity in a story that Lee Newspapers ran statewide, McKinnon raised only $42,000 for her own campaign, but Montana Growth Network, ran by disgraced Sen. Jason Priest (R-TEA Red Lodge) and Rep. Ed Walker (R-TEA Exxon Mobil), spent over $690,000 on the race (and some attack mailers against any Republicans Priest and Walker thought might support health care for working poor using federal government funds from taxes Montanans are already paying.)
Jason Priest is not running for re-election as he faces charges for parter and family member assault, although it is not known what involvement he still has in the dark money movement. His trial is set for August 12.