Federal court draws new PSC districts

On March 8th (just a week before the candidate filing deadline), a panel of federal judges drew new boundaries for Montana’s Public Service Commission (PSC) districts. The districts were redrawn as part of a ruling in response to a lawsuit that argued the old districts violated the “one person, one vote” principle of the U.S. Constitution due to population shifts that have occurred in our state since the districts were drawn in 2003.

After reviewing a handful of proposed maps, the court ultimately selected the map offered by MT Secretary of State Christi Jacobsen (with one tweak to avoid splitting the Blackfeet Indian Reservation). The new districts are largely similar to the old districts, but swap a handful of counties between districts, namely Musselshell, Deer Lodge, Glacier, and Pondera.

The new boundaries may be changed by the 2023 Montana State Legislature, as Public Service Commission districts are the only districts that the legislature is legally allowed to draw. Some Republican legislators had pushed for a special legislative session to draw a new map before the court took action, but were unable to get enough support to do so.

This year, PSC Districts 1 and 5 are up for election. District 1 includes northcentral and northeastern Montana. District 5 extends from Lewis & Clark County up through the Flathead. While these positions don’t always get as much attention as other elected offices in the state, the decisions made by the PSC have a profound impact on the type of energy sources that power Montana homes and businesses, and on the costs that energy customers pay. Ensuring that elections for these offices are fair and constitutional is vital to the work of Northern Plains members. 

redistricting maps
The new PSC Districts, 2022.

Related Posts

Reflecting on the true history of Thanksgiving

Reflecting on the true history of Thanksgiving

For many, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones, celebrate our connections, and reflect on how much we have to be grateful for. This ritual is a tradition woven deeply into many families and communities. As an organization devoted to community, Northern Plains appreciates how meaningful the Thanksgiving holiday is for many of us. However, we are equally devoted to facing and telling hard truths, and we are deeply committed to ensuring that we do not perpetuate harm.

Read More
Protecting the Montana Constitution

Protecting the Montana Constitution

We are fiercely proud of our Constitution, written by Montanans to serve Montanans. Now, half a century after ratification, there is a reckless extremist movement to rewrite our constitution. Read more about this landmark document and how you can take action to protect it.

Read More
The Montana Constitution and Northern Plains: Protecting our state since 1972

The Montana Constitution and Northern Plains: Protecting our state since 1972

In the early 1970s, something revolutionary happened. Everyday Montanans rose up, demanding a new constitution with expanded rights and freedoms that center power in the hands of the people.

Read More

Stand up with us to protect this place we all call home.

WordPress Lightbox