The Montana Supreme Court has ruled that Commissioner of Political Practices Jonathan Motl’s term ended Jan. 1, but the court has ordered Motl to stay in place until a replacement is appointed.  In December former Helena State Sen. Christine Kaufmann, Secretary of State Linda McCulloch, former State Rep. Jesse O’Hara, a group called Montanans for Experienced Judges and the Montana Trial Lawyers Association filed suit in Lewis and Clark County District Court to have Motl removed.

They argued that the commissioner of political practices started his term in 2013.  Commissioners who are confirmed by the state Senate serve six-year terms.  What’s unclear is if Motl started his own term or assumed the term of former Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s appointee Jennifer Hensley in 2011 but was not approved by the state Senate in that year’s legislative session