Saturday, April 13, 2024

There is no substitute for wisdom and experience

Recent advertising relating to the chief justice race has resorted to baseless political attacks. Attempts to impugn a fair judge and challenge the independence of the judiciary are improper. That is not Montana. 

Ugly politicking by out-of-state interests untethered from facts is exactly the opposite of the core principles needed on our great state’s highest court. Opponents who attack fairness and integrity in our judicial system are attacking Montana and what makes this state so great. 

Fair and impartial judging protects the rule of law. Judges should not be selected based on political preferences. Judges must instead be accountable to the law as written and independent from political pressure. Outside groups, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars supporting a particular candidate using attack ads, expect a return on their investment. That is a dangerous proposition and should be rejected by Montanans.   

Montana stands at a pivotal juncture, where the integrity and impartiality of its judiciary are paramount. In this crucial moment, experience and leadership matters, and the Honorable Judge Jerry Lynch is the clear choice to serve as the next chief justice on the Montana Supreme Court.

Collectively, we have practiced before Judge Lynch for decades. He has displayed fairness, wisdom, an even keel, and unparalleled legal judgment. While he didn’t always rule in our client’s favor, we always left his courtroom knowing we were treated fairly by a Judge and court system committed to the rule of law and to the Montana and U.S. Constitutions.

Judge Lynch's extensive career in law, spanning decades both on the bench and in private practice, reflects his profound understanding of the complexities of the legal system and Montana’s unique constitution. His tenure as a Judge has been marked by fair and moral decisions, earning him respect from colleagues and litigants alike. He has consistently demonstrated a keen ability to interpret the law impartially, ensuring justice is served without bias or prejudice.

Beyond his legal acumen, Judge Lynch embodies the values that resonate deeply with the people of Montana. A Butte native, he is a staunch advocate for Montana, and for the furtherance of the independent rights guaranteed by Montana’s Constitution. These rights include individual dignity, equal protection, privacy, and a free public education. His commitment to public service extends far beyond the courtroom.

As voters, we have a responsibility to ensure that our judiciary remains steadfast in its commitment to fairness and impartiality, free from dark political influences. Judge Jerry Lynch embodies these principles, offering a clear and compelling vision for the future of Montana's legal system. His proven track record and unwavering commitment to justice make him the ideal choice for chief justice of the Montana Supreme Court.

Let us come together as Montanans who rise above political rhetoric to support Judge Jerry Lynch as he seeks to uphold the rule of law and defend the principles that define our great state. Together, we can ensure that Montana’s highest court remains an independent and balanced hall of justice for all.

Randy J. Cox, Natasha Prinzing Jones, Matt Hayhurst and Scott Stearns are partners at Boone Karlberg P.C. and have each practiced law in Montana state and federal courts, including the Montana Supreme Court.