Former State Supreme Court Justice Rejects Suggestions to Change Constitution, Lawmaker Calls for Debate | State and Region

Nelson said it served to justify threats against public officials, school board members and health care workers.

“It serves to justify partisan brutality by officials against other elected officials and the minority party,” he said.

Skees dismissed Nelson’s claims of being a bully.

“A tyrant wants all decisions made in your life to be made by the government,” he said. “I am the exact opposite. I want all decisions to be made by the sovereign citizens of the great state of Montana.

“I see citizens as the solutions to almost everything,” he said.

Nelson said Montana, along with some other states, has passed voter suppression laws to ensure one-party rule to the exclusion of other parties and candidates. He said it was unconstitutional and “not the rule of law but the lie rule, actually the big lie rule.”

“Democracy is not a spectator sport, our constitutions cannot protect themselves from an authoritarian takeover,” he said. “Democracy and the maintenance of our constitutions require the active support, protection and defense of each of us.”

“We cannot articulate a vision of the Constitution that works for us, as I have suggested, if the Constitution and rule or law are torn apart by the fascists, authoritarians and would-be dictators among us,” said Nelson.

Elna M. Lemons