Weakening the Constitution

House Bill 212 was passed last week by the House Fish Wildlife and Parks Committee. The bill sets dangerous precedent by making it so easy to manipulate and modify the Constitution.

Usually it takes a 2/3 majority to amend the MT Constitution.  This bill attempts to do so with a simple majority.  It’s backers are hoping we’ll buy that they are not working to change the constitution by using the euphemism that they are “clarifying” that the constitution includes the right to trapping.   It makes the Constitution up for grabs by future legislatures through similar such schemes.

This could even backfire against the very people who are proposing the bill. The next legislature can amend the Constitution to ban trapping, and further, if an anti-hunting legislature is in power, this precedent could restrict the right to hunt dramatically, say, hunting will be allowed only for elk.  This bill weakens our Constitution drastically, and is a terrible idea.

There are many reasons to keep the constitution in tact-and I’m sure even the supporters of this nonsense could come up with their own reasons why they don’t want the Constitution to be so easy to manipulate and relegate to flopping around in the wind.

Some great Representatives voted AGAINST HB 212.

Representative and Vice Chair, Price,

Representative Court,

Representative Lieser,

Representative Z. Brown,

Representative Jacobson,

Representative Smith,

Representative Person.

HB 212 now moves onto the House.  It’s a bill everyone should watch.



9 Comments on "Weakening the Constitution"

  1. The usual “cowgirl blog” taking away the rights of Montanans throughout the state to fit her agenda. Typical and I still don’t know how you can call it the “cowgirl” blog. Unreal.

    Could you please give me a list of those who voted against this so I can message them?

    We are not weakening anything in the constitution. We are just reaffirming what was voted on in 1992 (I believe it was 1992) by 80% of the people in the state.

    But, the far left continues to try to take away the rights of tax paying people in our state….

  2. Truth will win out | February 3, 2015 8:03 AM at 8:03 AM |

    The people voted for hunting and fishing, not trapping. To say otherwise is an outright lie and shows the hand of the trappers who want to undermine the majority of the people. Trapping never has been and never will be a constitutional right. Trappers are proving once again that they are a criminal group of people who don’t care about our laws, our US Constitution or even the United States as a nation.

    • I did not vote to protect trapping in 2004, and neither did anyone else, because that is not what the voters of Montana were presented with. We were presented with Hunting and Fishing. This is an example of the legislature overstepping their bounds. HB 212 is unconstitutional because it essentially changes the constitution without a vote of the people. I agree that the truth will win out!

  3. Thank you, Montana Cowgirl! This is far more than a bill to try to make trapping a right instead of a privilege. However, fearful of Montanan’s increasing dislike for trapping, proponents of HB 212, including its sponsor are making it about trapping proclaiming 10 years after Montanans enacted the right to hunt and fish that preserving trapping was their intent. They make trapping and their bill sound as benign and traditional as apple pie. Defending HB212, Representative Wagoner is testifying ludicrous fallacies, i.e. trapping is the “opposite of indiscriminate and nonselective” and trapped mountain lions released are unharmed and run away. One can’t help but wonder will the greater embarrassment come from this highly questionable bill to amend our constitution by legislature majority vote or from the truths in trapping?

  4. I watched the committee meeting regarding HB212 and only in a legislative session can one hear such twisted logic and false information to get a bill passed. Trapping is not mentioned in C-41 but hunting and fishing are. The legislature argued that the “intent” of trapping is contained regarding harvest and take. Well, it’s not. Maybe the “intent” was to deliberately leave out trapping so the public would support it. One Rep. said that trapping is not indiscriminate because hoofed animals cannot get caught in a trap. They can…elk calves and moose calves have been caught in them but the MT Trapper’s Association or other trappers will never admit that publicly. Might put a negative light on trapping. Ask the raptor center in Missoula about bald and golden eagles that have been indiscriminately caught in traps. They have talons so they apparently are impervious to traps. This isn’t all about trapping, it’s about the MT legislature pandering and appeasing a very small minority of Montanans that spend $29.00 on a trapping license, that puts domestic animals, ungulates, raptors in danger just to deter a ballot initiative against recreational trapping. Yes, apparently killing MT’s wildlife, eventually, is recreation. It is highjacking the state’s constitution to favor 1% of MT’s population. Let the voters decide and shame on the House legislature, especially the Democrats, who passed HB212.

  5. Read the Flathead Memo – a list of actual democrats who voted for this stupidity – this bill is nonsense – you can’t “clarify” the constitution with 50 votes – it takes a 2/3 majority vote to amend the constitution – anyone who votes for this needs to look in the mirror and ask themselves when they became so stupid. Also, does anyone think the Fish Wildlife and Parks department could have demonstrated a little more basic competence here???


  6. All the legislators know is what the proponents tell them. I also heard in the committee meeting that non-target animals are released unharmed. In whose opinion? The mountain lion that is missing some toes? The golden eagle with a deformed talon? Both are examples of many non-target wildlife that have been incidentally trapped.

  7. And that poor deer on Peter Yegen with the trap fused to his leg that has appeared on the golf course for 2 years. Really disturbing.

    • Apparently the committee members were not playing golf that day or conveniently forgot about that deer…ya know, since hoofed animals can’t get caught in a trap because traps can indeed discriminate as to what steps in them. They close up on their own only when an unintended target steps in them to prevent injury or harm to the unsuspecting critter.

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