Montana judge rejects effort by transgender lawmaker Zooey Zephyr to return to state House floor

A Tuesday court ruling in Montana will prohibit Rep. Zooey Zephyr, a transgender lawmaker, from returning to the state House floor after she was censured by Republicans after telling them they would have blood on their hands for opposing gender surgery for kids. The ruling by District Court Judge Mike Menahan came after lawyers for the state of Montana asked a judge to reject Zephyr’s request to return. Menahan said he didn’t have the authority to overrule the Legislature and return Zephyr to the House floor. His five-page ruling said the move “would require this court to interfere with legislative authority in a manner that exceeds this court’s authority.” SILENCED TRANSGENDER MONTANA LAWMAKER ZOOEY ZEPHYR VOWS TO KEEP FIGHTING FOR CONSTITUENTS  “It’s a really sad day for the country when the majority party can silence representation from the minority party whenever they take issue,” Zephyr told the Associated Press. Zephyr, a Democratic lawmaker, identifying as a transgender woman, made headlines after criticizing state colleagues who supported a bill banning medical care for transitioning minors, saying they would have blood on their hands. “The only thing I will say is if you vote yes on this bill and yes on these amendments, I hope the next time there’s an invocation when you bow your heads in prayer, you see the blood on your hands,” Zephyr said when debating SB99.  Critics demanded an apology. However, after refusing to do so, Republicans led the chamber in a 68-32 vote last week to bar Zephyr from accessing the House floor. Zephyr cannot enter the anteroom or gallery but can vote remotely. Lawyers for the state said court intervention on Zephyr’s behalf would violate the separation of powers.  “Today’s decision is a win for the rule of law and the separation of powers enshrined in our Constitution,” Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen said. Zephyr’s attorney, Alex Rate, said an appeal was being considered.  Fox News Digitals’ Lawrence Richard as well as The Associated Press contributed reporting.
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