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Judge rejects Zooey Zephyr’s effort to return to Montana House

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By Associated Press 05/02/2023 07:03 PM EDT Link CopiedHELENA, Mont. — Rep. Zooey Zephyr, the transgender Montana lawmaker who was silenced after telling Republicans they would have blood on their hands for opposing gender-affirming health care for kids, cannot return to the statehouse House floor and participate in debate, a judge ruled Tuesday.The ruling came after attorneys for the state of Montana asked the judge to reject Zephyr’s attempt to return.

She was silenced two weeks ago then banished last week for admonishing Republican lawmakers and encouraging a raucous statehouse protest.District Court Judge Mike Menahan said it was outside his authority to overrule the Legislature and return Zephyr to the House floor.Such a move “would require this court to interfere with legislative authority in a manner that exceeds this court’s authority,” Menahan wrote in his five-page ruling.Zephyr told The Associated Press that the decision was “entirely wrong.”“It’s a really sad day for the country when the majority party can silence representation from the minority party whenever they take issue,” Zephyr said.Lawyers working under Attorney General Austin Knudsen cautioned that any intervention by the courts on Zephyr’s behalf would be a blatant violation of the separation of powers.

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