Representative Zooey Zephyr’s Appeal of Montana House Censure Denied by Judge

( – A Montana judge has denied an appeal by Montana Representative Zooey Zephyr, a Democrat, to return to the Montana House floor following her censure, NBC News reported. Zephyr reportedly was censured by the Montana State House of Representatives for remarks alleging that Republican Representatives would have “blood on their hands” if they voted in favor of passing legislation on gender reassignment surgeries of minors in Montana.

The Montana State legislature Republicans told the Associated Press that all members of the House were permitted to debate legislation provided that they followed the House rules. The Republicans argued that only Zephyr was acting to silence herself because she was refusing to follow the conduct rules of the legislature. Likewise, Representatives argued that Montana “would not be bullied,” the Associated Press reported.

Republican members of the Montana legislature reportedly did not allow Zephyr to speak following the “blood” comments because the statement was “far outside” the realm of what the Montana legislature considered appropriate civil discourse conduct. At the time of this report, Zephyr had not been permitted to return to the legislature’s floor.

The motion to take disciplinary action against Zephyr faced harsh criticism, with lawmakers and Democratic political commentators claiming that similar to a motion to censure Representatives in the Tennessee state legislature, the action against Zephyr was a “crackdown” of the Republican super-majority agenda, the Associated Press reported.

Zephyr was banned from the House by a court order and has sought to appeal the ban to return to the floor. However, State District Judge Mike Menahan has denied the appeal, citing a “separation of powers” in the ruling against Zephyr. Menahan argued that Zephyr’s appeal was outside the scope of the state court’s authority to grant, NBC News reported.

Zephyr reportedly responded to Menahan’s ruling with harsh criticism and released a statement claiming that the ruling implied that the Montana legislature isn’t “beholden” to the Constitution. Posting a copy of the official statement to Twitter, Zephyr claimed that the court’s decision not to reinstate her “undermines the democratic principles” that the United States was founded on. Zephyr called the decision to censure her a “gross miscarriage” of justice.

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