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Initial Decision on Court Candidate Due Next Week

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A district judge in Helena has until Wednesday to decide whether the Montana solicitor general is eligible to be a state Supreme Court candidate.

Judge Mike Menahan heard arguments on Lawrence VanDyke’s candidacy, which is being challenged by five delegates to the 1972 Montana Constitutional Convention.

The constitution requires VanDyke be admitted to practice law in Montana for five years before Election Day.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports attorney Mike Meloy argued VanDyke was inactive from 2007 to 2012 and does not qualify.

VanDyke’s attorneys say he was admitted to the bar more than five years ago, and argue his inactive status should not be a factor in determining eligibility.

The Supreme Court directed Menahan to issue a decision by Wednesday so the high court can expedite an appeal.

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