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HOUSE BILL NO.
A BILL FOR AN ACT ENTITLED: "AN ACT CLARIFYING LIMITS ON THE AUTHORITY
OF MONTANA PEACE OFFICERS TO ENFORCE PROVISIONS OF THE PATRIOT ACT AND
OF OTHER FEDERAL LAWS IN CONFLICT WITH RESTRICTIONS IN THE MONTANA
CONSTITUTION; AND PROVIDING AN IMMEDIATE EFFECTIVE DATE."
WHEREAS, Montana is one of several sovereign states
that have operated together to engender and empower the government of
the United States of America; and
WHEREAS, the United States federal government is a
creature of the states and is an entity of limited, fixed, and defined
powers that are limited and defined in, among other places, the 9th and
10th amendments to the United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the people of Montana have reserved to
themselves certain rights and freedoms in the Montana Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the people of Montana have limited the
powers of the State of Montana and its political subdivisions and the
respective employees of those entities by restrictions placed in the
Montana Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the United States Congress has passed
various laws, including the Uniting and Strengthening America by
Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct
Terrorism Act of 2001, Public Law 107-56, 115 Stat. 272 ("Patriot
Act"), which contain provisions offering authority to federal law
enforcement agencies and personnel for acts that may be in conflict
with the limitations on governmental conduct proscribed by the people
of Montana in the Montana Constitution; and
WHEREAS, in Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 898,
117 S. Ct. 2365 (1997), the principle was established that Congress may
not commandeer the resources and cooperation of local law enforcement;
WHEREAS, law enforcement agencies in Montana are
empowered and operate under statutes that are limited by the
constraints existing in the Montana Constitution; and
WHEREAS, if Montana law enforcement personnel are
sought to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers in ways that
are not consistent with the restrictions in the Montana Constitution,
those Montana law enforcement personnel will need direction, as a
matter of legislated public policy, concerning their allegiance and the
limits of their authority; and
THEREFORE, the Legislature of the State of Montana
finds it appropriate to declare the limits of police power for law
enforcement personnel employed by the state or any of its political
subdivisions, consistent with the rights and restrictions of the
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
NEW SECTION. Section 1. Limits of law
enforcement cooperation in enforcement of federal laws. (1) A
person normally operating as a peace officer pursuant to the laws of
Montana who aids federal authorities in the enforcement of any federal
laws that are in conflict with rights reserved to the people of Montana
in the Montana constitution or with restrictions imposed on the state
in the Montana constitution is considered to be acting outside of the
person's authority as a Montana peace officer and to be acting as a
private person without state authority.
(2) (a) A Montana peace officer may not accept
concurrent deputization as a federal officer for the purpose of
avoiding the provisions of subsection (1).
(b) A mutual aid agreement authorized by
44-11-304 may not contain any provision that abrogates the provisions
of subsection (1).
(3) For purposes of this section, "peace officer" has the meaning provided in 46-1-202.
(4) For any political subdivision which
employs one or more peace officers, any attorney also employed by that
subdivision has a duty to advise peace officers of that subdivision
about how to maintain compliance with [this section].
NEW SECTION. Section 2. Codification
instruction. [Section 1] is intended to be codified as an integral part
of Title 44, chapter 11, part 1, and the provisions of Title 44,
chapter 11, part 1, apply to [section 1].
NEW SECTION. Section 3. Effective date. [This act] is effective on passage and approval.
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