The ACLU Montana, in partnership with the Beck, Amsden, and Stalpes law firm and Mike Black, Esq., filed an emergency lawsuit challenging the censure of State Representative Zoey Zephyr

(HD 100). The lawsuit arose from the Montana House of Representatives’ vote to bar Rep. Zephyr from in-person debates and voting for the remainder of the session in response to her criticism of a bill aimed at banning gender affirming healthcare for transgender youth in Montana.

We promptly condemned the Montana House of Representatives’ antidemocratic efforts to silence Representative Zooey Zephyr and, by doing so, denying her constituents their right to representation. The retaliatory censure violated Representative Zephyr and her constituents’ constitutional rights to free speech, equal protection, self-government, freedom of assembly and the right to petition for redress. We filed for a temporary restraining order in District Court asking the Court to protect Plaintiffs’ rights by immediately restoring all of Representative Zephyr’s legislative privileges. Although the temporary restraining order was denied and the Court dismissed the case once the legislature adjourned, we will continue to do everything in our power to prevent the legislature from targeting individuals and their constituents based on the content of their speech.


Beck, Amsden and Stalpes, PLLC: John Amsden, Esq., Justin Stalpes, Esq., Sydney Best, Esq., and Conner Bottomly, Esq. - ACLU of MT: Alex Rate, Esq. and Akilah Deernose, Esq. - Michael G. Black, Esq.

Date filed

May 1, 2023


Montana First Judicial District Court County of Lewis and Clark


Mike Menahan



Case number