Montana Governor Vetoes Anti-Detention Legislation

Would have banned state's officials from cooperating with NDAA


Montana Gov. Steve Bullock has vetoed a bill that would have banned Montanan officials from cooperating with and "providing material support for" federal agents who attempt indefinite detention.  Known as HB 522, this bill would have provided some measure of defense for people living in Montana from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The bill had transcended party lines, passing both the statehouse and state senate by wide margins and was backed by groups including the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the ACLU, and the Tenth Amendment Center.

But on Monday, Gov. Bullock vetoed the bill, citing ongoing litigation (i.e. Hedges v. Obama) that "may render HB 522 unnecessary."  Of course, if the Obama administration prevails, then HB 522 would become very necessary to restore due process in Montana.  The governor lambasted the bill as a measure that would "clutter the Montana code…[and] put our law enforcement officers in an untenable position."  Yet no legal note was attached to the bill.  Montana would be fully within its powers to refuse cooperation with federal officials who would seek to enforce the NDAA.