Is it possible that dirty tricks are afoot again? Mike Wheat and Lawrence Van Dyke are both running for a seat on the Montana Supreme Court. Recently, however, a lawsuit was filed by several past supporters of Mike Wheat accusing Van Dyke of not practicing law in Montana for the requisite five years even though Van Dyke, our current solicitor general, has been a dues–paying member of the Montana Bar since 2005.
On Friday, April 25, Helena District Court Judge Mike Menahan ruled that Van Dyke, a fifth-generation Montanan and graduate of Montana State University and Harvard Law School, can’t be on the November ballot. Mr. Van Dyke is appealing the ruling to the Montana Supreme Court.
However, Chief Justice Mike McGrath has contributed $200 to Wheat’s campaign and since he can hardly be considered neutral in rendering a decision he should recuse himself. If Van Dyke loses the court battle then Wheat will run unopposed this November. Hmmm.