Imperial Sovereign Court v. Montana

In May 2023, Governor Greg Gianforte signed House Bill 359 (“HB 359”) into law, banning “drag story hours” and a plethora of other speech and conduct, with the intent to silence the LGBTQ+ community.  The bill’s sponsors meant to stop drag queens from leading story hours in schools and libraries.  But the bill goes much further.  And the result is a law that is as stupid as it is sinister.

On July 6, 2023, a group of individuals and organizations from across the state, including the Imperial Sovereign Court of The State of Montana, Billings Public School teacher Rachel Corcoran, trans advocate Adria Jawort, The Myrna Loy, the Montana Book Company in Helena, Imagine Nation Brewing in Missoula, the Great Falls LGBTQ+ Center, Bumblebee Aerial Fitness, and the Western Montana Community Center filed suit with the aim of permanently enjoining this law.

Filings      /      Press

Complaint (July 6, 2023)

Sanya Mansoor, The Teacher Who Is Suing Montana for Her Right to Wear Costumes, Time (July 12, 2023)

Andrew Albanese, Lawsuit Challenges Montana's Sweeping New Ban on Drag Performances, Publisher's Weekly (July 10, 2023)

Amy Beth Hanson, Transgender woman, bookstore, sue over Montana law banning drag reading events, Associated Press (July 6, 2023)

Darrell Ehrlick, Groups challenge Montana’s ‘drag ban’ in federal court, Daily Montanan (July 7, 2023)

Trudy Ring, Montana Trans Woman, Bookstore, and More Sue Over Anti-Drag Law, The Advocate (July 11, 2023)

Montana being sued over law banning drag queen story, QSaltLake Magazine (July 7, 2023)

Daniel Villareal, Montana residents sue their state to stop its drag ban, LGBTQ Nation (July 7, 2023)

Alex Woodward, Montana LGBT+ advocates sue state over ‘Frankenstein’s monster’ drag ban, The Independent (July 7, 2023)

First Amended Complaint (July 17, 2023)

State's Answer to FAC (Aug. 10, 2023)

Butte-Silver Bow's Answer to FAC (Aug. 8, 2023)

Helena's Answer to FAC (Aug. 10, 2023)

Mara Silvers, Montana Pride derailed by anti-drag bill, lawsuit says, Montana Free Press (July 17, 2023)