Missoula attorney Quentin Rhoades notified KGVO News on Thursday that the Montana Green Party has prevailed in federal court, and will have candidates on the 2022 general election ballot.

“We're very pleased,” began Rhoades. “As you know, over the years the Green Party has been kept off the ballot by lawsuits filed by the Democrat Party in Montana State courts for various kinds of deficiencies in their petition gathering techniques. Part of the problem with their petition gathering is that the rules that they were operating under were unconstitutional.”

Montana Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen was the defendant in the court challenge.

Rhoades, who has represented the Green Party in court, expanded on the federal court decision.

“We succeeded in having the Montana statutes that were basically not providing for ‘one person one vote’ in the petition gathering process declared unconstitutional,” he said. “That came down from the Ninth Circuit late last year, and so the remedy for that was a consent judgment entered just yesterday (Wednesday), in which the Green Party was placed on the ballot for the 2022 election cycle.”

Rhoades explained in his view, why the Montana Democratic Party fought so hard to keep the Green Party off the ballot.

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“I think the Democratic Party was afraid that if the Green Party was on the ballot that some of the people who would vote Democrat, such as the ‘AOC’ wing would be tempted to vote for the Green Party as either a substantive vote to try to get Green Party candidates actually elected, or as a protest vote, to say the Democrat Party is not paying close enough attention to these sort of Green Party issues. Because of that, they were afraid that it would dilute the sort of the liberal leftist sort of vote and take votes away from the Democrat Party and allow Republicans to a better opportunity to win.”

Due to a timing issue with the federal court decision, Rhoades said in this election cycle, there may not be many Green Party candidates on the ballot.

“There aren't very many Green Party candidates who registered in time, but there are at least two or three, and those will now get to run in Montana as Green Party candidates officially, not as independent or under the flag of a different party, but there'll be there'll be able to run under the flag of the Green Party. The federal courts have vindicated their right to do that.”

In 2020, candidate Gary Marbut attempted to intervene in a lawsuit filed by the Democratic Party to keep the Green Party off the Montana ballot.

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