About this Case
Montana’s commissioner of political practices ruled that Canyon Ferry Road Baptist Church violated election law by participating in a Focus on the Family simulcast and allowing petitions in support of a pro-marriage ballot initiative to be circulated on church premises.
Summary of NLF's Brief
In our brief, we urged the Ninth Circuit to reverse the decision of the District Court. Our argument was that Montana’s political committee regulatory scheme is not generally applicable because it contains categorical exemptions, and contains the potential for individualized exemptions. Therefore, it should not be applied against the church to penalize it. We also argued that granting the church an exemption fits within a well-established historic practice in this country. We must be vigilant to insulate the church from improper encroachments by the state.