Darrell Ehrlick

Darrell Ehrlick

Darrell Ehrlick is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Montanan, after leading his native state’s largest paper, The Billings Gazette. He is an award-winning journalist, author, historian and teacher, whose career has taken him to North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Utah, and Wyoming.

Attorney General: Disqualify all justices, start negotiations with Legislature

By: - May 3, 2021

Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen has filed a response to a set of emergency motions by Montana Courts Administrator Beth McLaughlin, asserting that all the justices should disqualify themselves and, in a separate response, proposed that the Supreme Court negotiate with Legislature for the release of as many 5,000 of her emails. In two motions […]

That’s a wrap: 67th Legislature is in the book

By: , , and - May 2, 2021

“The End” — not typically how news stories start, but the end came for the 67th Legislature, and by most accounts, it was one of the most memorable and consequential in the state’s history as a Republican supermajority swept into office, including capturing the governor’s chair. Because of the overwhelming number of Republicans, free to […]

Chief Justice: ‘There has been no misuse of state resources’

By: - April 30, 2021

Montana Supreme Court Justice Mike McGrath responded to follow-up questions from two of the Republican leaders who sit on a special select joint committee of the Legislature, which is investigating bias in the judiciary and the use of email for lobbying. McGrath addressed the issues surrounding the inquiry head on in a letter sent on […]

Court files reveal another subpoena while court administrator responds

By: - April 30, 2021

Attorneys have filed several documents in the legal battle that tests the limits of a subpoena issued by the legislature, while lawmakers continue to investigate what Republicans believe is judicial bias and improper use of state equipment. The filings give more detail into the dispute, plus set out legal arguments in one of the cases […]

Changes to vaccination bill still leave hospitals in a tough position

By: - April 29, 2021

The problem is easy for Rich Rasmussen to explain. The solution? Well, that’s the hard part. Rasmussen is the chief executive officer of the Montana Hospitals Association, and he was part of a coalition that advocated changing a controversial bill, House Bill 702, to make it so that nursing homes, care facilities and hospitals would […]

Zinke may be eyeing another Congressional run

By: - April 29, 2021

Former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke may be looking to come back home and to the House. A filing with the Federal Elections Commission on Thursday revealed a “Ryan Zinke for Congress” committee with Lorna Kuney of Helena as the secretary. “Zinke for Congress” is registered as a Principal Campaign Committee, and Zinke is […]


The legislature that needs to ‘sine die’

By: - April 29, 2021

One of my all-time favorite interviews was visiting with an older woman who reminded me, “Every generation thinks they invented sex.” And just like that, every generation probably thinks their politicians are the worst. I can’t publish what I honestly thought Ronald Reagan’s first name was because of my grandfather’s regular rants about “The Gipper.” […]

Wald appointed to serve in place of Chief Justice McGrath

By: - April 28, 2021

The Montana Supreme Court has ordered that Judge Matthew Wald of the Twenty-Second Judicial District, which includes Big Horn County, has been appointed to serve in place of Chief Justice Mike McGrath in the case of Senate Bill 140, which will determine how judges are appointed in Montana. Wald has been appointed to replace Kurt […]

Special committee focused on email, lobbying efforts of judiciary

By: and - April 28, 2021

A Republican-led legislative probe into alleged bias and improper lobbying by members of the judiciary released a draft report of its findings on Wednesday. That report largely restated arguments from the panel’s initial meetings that the Supreme Court was pre-judging bills likely to face legal challenges through polls issued by a lobbying organization representing district […]

Class-action ‘franchise fees’ suit begins with millions at stake for Montana’s largest city

By: - April 27, 2021

Nearly four years ago, seven Billings residents decided to take Montana’s largest city to court, alleging that fees it had added to water bills were an illegal sales tax. Since then, two of the group have died and at least five different judges have touched the case before retired Gallatin County Judge Mike Salvagni was […]

‘Anti-vaxx’ bill would mean no visitors, all masks to healthcare facilities in Montana

By: - April 26, 2021

The Montana medical community has some sobering messages for residents of the Treasure State: If you thought mask mandates were hard, wait until House Bill 702 becomes law. Expecting fathers: Don’t expect to be there at the birth of your child. For those wanting to see a close family member injured in a car accident: […]

Bill would launch investigation against ‘environmental groups’

By: - April 23, 2021

A day after some Republicans in the Montana House joined with Democrats to kill a controversial bill to allow NorthWestern Energy to purchase more power from Colstrip while cutting out the oversight of the Public Service Commission, Sen. Duane Ankney, R-Colstrip, introduced legislation that would allow the Attorney General’s Office to investigative “environmental groups.” Ankney […]