Montana residents are subject to Montana state and U.S. federal laws. Federal laws apply in Montana as they do across all 50 states. In addition to the U.S. Constitution, which is the supreme law of the U.S., federal laws include statutes that are periodically codified in the U.S. Code. Federal laws also include decisions by courts that interpret federal laws. Finally, federal laws include regulations issued by federal administrative agencies to implement federal laws. You can explore federal laws and related resources by visiting the federal law section of the Justia site.
The state of Montana also has its own state laws. Montana state laws include the Montana Constitution, laws passed by the Montana legislature and periodically codified in the Montana Code Annotated, and decisions by courts that interpret Montana laws.
The second and current version of the Montana Constitution was adopted in 1972 and includes 14 articles. It resulted from a constitutional convention in which 100 delegates participated. Article XIV provides the three processes for amending the Constitution. Under Section 8, an amendment proposed by the legislature will appear on a ballot if two-thirds of the legislature supports it. Section 9 allows an initiated amendment to appear on a ballot if the petition receives enough signatures. Sections 1, 2, and 3 provide three ways to put a proposal for a constitutional convention on a ballot. These include legislative action under Section 1, ballot initiatives under Section 2, and automatic referral at 20-year intervals under Section 3.
The Montana Code Annotated contains the laws passed by the Montana legislature. These laws and the provisions of the Montana Constitution are often interpreted by the Montana Supreme Court, which is the only appellate court in the state. The federal Montana District Court also issues decisions that may affect Montana residents. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals holds the authority to review decisions by the Montana District Court. Sometimes the U.S. Supreme Court may review a case that has been appealed from the Ninth Circuit or from the Montana Supreme Court.