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Articles written by Russell Fagg


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  • More and More Government

    Russell Fagg, As The Judge|Nov 15, 2017

    As a fourth generation Montanan and 22-year District Court Judge, I believe Montana deserves better. We deserve better from our public servants. We deserve government policies that do not stifle economic growth and stagnate wages. We deserve the ability to capture the American Dream by making our own decisions and succeeding or failing based on our own talents and hard work. As a lifelong Montanan, I understand that a hand up from a neighbor is much more effective than a handout from a government bureaucrat. As a father, I believe it is immoral...

  • Judging Political Etiquette

    Russell Fagg, Ask The Judge|Sep 6, 2017

    I have been asked “How can a sitting judge set up an exploratory committee to consider running for the U.S. Senate?” I think the question is asked because, to my knowledge, it has never been done before in Montana. When I started considering a new chapter in my life, which will include starting my own law firm, my lifelong interest in our country rose to the surface as well. I had three interests in mind. First, I wanted to finish this judge job well. After 22 ½ years of a job I feel very blessed to have had, I want to leave my court in good...

  • The Declaration of Independence

    Russell Fagg, Ask the Judge|Jul 5, 2017

    July 4th is the 241st birthday of our great country. This is a celebration worth embracing. For 241 years the United States has been a beacon of freedom, liberty, and the “American Dream.” The United States has grown from an upstart pest to the greatest country the world has ever known. However, we cannot rest on our laurels. We have issues that need addressing. Issues headed up by a burgeoning debt, which is now nearly 20 trillion dollars, or $61,364 for every person in the United States, and $165,928 for every tax payer in the United Sta...

  • Supreme Court Balance

    Russell Fagg, Ask the Judge|Jan 11, 2017

    The United State Supreme Court was established in 1789 by Article III of the Constitution. Originally there were 6 justices. In the 19th century, Congress adjusted this number down to five, up to seven, and then ten. In 1869, it was set at nine. In 1937, President Roosevelt tried to “pack” the court with pro New Deal members, and asked the number of justices be raised all the way to 15. This effort was defeated. Since Justice Scalia’s death there have been two deadlocked cases, but both have been important. The first, United States v. Texas...

  • The Electoral College

    Russell Fagg, Ask the Judge|Dec 7, 2016

    I have never really understood the Electoral College (EC). Recently a friend and I were talking about people who are apparently trying to convince electors to the EC not to vote for President-elect Donald Trump, and he asked me if this was possible. The 538 electors meet Dec. 19 this year to officially vote for the President. The EC has a long and fascinating history (which I can only touch on here), and a surprising answer to the question as to whether they are bound delegates nationwide. History of the Electoral College: Originally, Article...

  • Rule of Law Crucial to American Government

    Russell Fagg, Ask the Judge|Aug 17, 2016

    Songwriters have an allure with the law. See, for instance: “I Fought the Law” by the Clash, “Lawyers, Guns, and Money” by Warren Zevon, “End of the Innocence” by Don Henley and Bruce Hornsby, “This Side of the Law” by Johnny Cash, and “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie. There are many more songs about the law. This crossed my mind when one of my neighbors asked me recently about the “rule of law” and what that meant exactly. Of course, this was in the context of the decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her email security lapses. Wh... Full story

  • Judging CPS

    Russell Fagg, Ask the Judge|May 11, 2016

    One of the most frequent questions I get asked is whether Child Protective Services (CPS) does a good job of deciding when to remove kids from abuse and neglect situations. As you can guess, there is a wide range of reactions to CPS decisions. On the one hand, parents are understandably terribly upset when children are removed from their care. On the other hand, those who call in the suspected abuse or neglect, called reporters, are often frustrated when a home is investigated and no removal occurs. The short answer is yes, I believe CPS, at...

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