Montanans from all walks of life serve in the Montana Legislature. Many have little or no experience with the law.
That's where legislative law school comes in. Legislators are participating in this training session this morning in the House Chambers. (You can watch live here.)
The goal is to teach legislators about the divisions between the different branches of government, and what they can and cannot do as senators and representatives.
One key component of that is a portion on which kinds of laws are constitutional, and which are not. Unfortunately legislators last year weren't very good students.
Bill after bill introduced flew in the face of the Montana Constitution, including bills that ignored the separation of powers between the federal and local government (a bill requiring local sheriffs to sign off before federal officials conduct a search or arrest someone and another to nullify the federal Endangered Species Act), bills ignoring the separation between church and state (like school vouchers for religious schools), and to discriminate against women (allow sex to be considered in health care coverage) to name just a few.
Let's hope legislators this year are taking better notes.