Friends of the Montana Constitution


Friends of the Montana Constitution logo

Friends of the Montana Constitution is a certified 501(c)(3) nonprofit that celebrates and supports the Montana Constitution and the people, processes and places that helped to create it fifty years ago in 1972.

Montana's State Constitution 50th Anniversary

The purposes of Friends of the Montana Constitution shall include but not be limited to promoting and enhancing the public’s understanding and appreciation of the 1972 Montana Constitution; advancing civics education at all levels about the 1972 Montana Constitution; and recognizing and celebrating the 1972 Constitutional Convention and its delegates.

Rally at the Rotunda for the Montana Constitution

Rally at the Capitol

Some of the principles in “Friends of the Montana Constitution” gather at the overflow Rotunda Rally for the Montana Constitution on February 1 … (l to r) Evan Barrett, Vice Chair of “Friends”; former Governor Marc Racicot, an Honorary Co-Chair of “Friends”; and Dorothy Bradley, Board Member of “Friends”. Slightly hidden behind Dorothy is Jerry Loendorf, 1972 Constitutional Convention Delegate from Helena (one of only 9 remaining Delegates). The rally, prime sponsor was Northern Plains Resource Council, is one of many events unfolding across Montana as citizens stand up for the Constitution.

Latest polling data

Polling data

Above is some highlighted information about a public poll that includes a number of questions about the Montana Constitution …  the polling memo can be found at

Some highlights: “…the poll also examined Montanans’ opinions on a number of other top issues being debated by the 2023 Legislature, including proposed amendments to the state constitution, abortion rights, and elections in Montana.

Sixty-three percent of respondents oppose amending Montana’s constitution, and when asked about specific amendments that have been proposed, even greater numbers express disagreement: 

  • 75 percent oppose changes to the constitutional right to privacy that would restrict abortion access. 
  • 66 percent oppose revising the right to a clean and healthful environment to make it easier for private corporations to develop and profit from the state’s natural resources.
  • 92 percent oppose an amendment that would allow the Governor to appoint justices to the Supreme Court, rather than directly elected by the people.”

The poll was conducted for Middle Fork Strategies by Searchlight Research from Feb. 7-16 and had 600 participants statewide, representative of the state’s population. Responses were captured by live telephone survey to both landline and cell numbers.

The above meme is the first of a number of memes that highlight the findings of the poll as it relates to our 1972 Constitution.

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Words from our Honorary Co-Chairs and our Chair

In 1972, one hundred citizens-delegates gathered together as Montanans, not partisans, to craft Montana’s foundational document, hailed by many across America as the nation’s best state Constitution. At its 50th Anniversary, the eyes of all Montanans can be opened even more to this wonderful document and hopefully they can enjoy for years to come its strong, people-oriented provisions that serve us all well.

(Governor Schwinden’s health issues have prevented him from commenting at this time. The above is a quote from his previously published comments in June, 2022.)

Ted Schwinden

MT Governor, 1981-1989

The more Montanans know about the origin and history of their rights and protections provided for and guaranteed by the Montana Constitution, the more they will trust their government and each other. Friends of the Montana Constitution will greatly advance the opportunities for all of us as Montanans to continue to preserve the liberty and way of life we share.

Marc Racicot

MT Governor 1993-2001

Unlike the 1889 Constitution, which was written for the powerful interests by the powerful interests, Montana’s 1972 Constitution empowered the people, providing a modern open government and unmatched rights to the people, including a strong right to privacy.  It is easy to be a Friend of the Montana Constitution because the Constitution has been a friend to us for 50 years.

Brian Schweitzer

MT Governor 2005-2013

Friends of the Montana Constitution is a way that all Montanans can join in supporting, recognizing and respecting our state Constitution.  As Attorney General and Governor, I learned first-hand what an amazing document came out of the Constitutional Convention over 50 years ago.  It is a document that makes sure the government is held in check and is accountable to the people.  We owe it to ourselves to join in the ‘Friends’ effort. 

Steve Bullock

MT Governor 2013-2021

When, as a young attorney, I worked at the 1972 Constitutional Convention, I was amazed and inspired by the way 100 Montana citizen/delegates worked together, without partisanship, to craft a remarkable Constitution that brought Montana out from 83 years under the “copper collar” into a citizen-oriented state.  Through Friends of the Montana Constitution, we all can honor them and their efforts.

Max Baucus

US Senate 1979-2014, Ambassador to China 2014-2017

Montana’s 1972 Constitution is not a Republican or a Democratic document – it is a “We The People “ document – that means all of us.  The values expressed in the Preamble – quality of life, equality of opportunity and liberty – are timeless, Montana values.  I encourage all Montanans to learn more about their Constitution and their ability to participate in their government at all levels.  That is the purpose of Friends of the Montana Constitution.

Mae Nan Ellingson

1972 Constitutional Convention Delegate & Chair of Friends of the Constitution

MT Constitutional Convention Floor


Constitution of the State of Montana

Adopted June 6, 1972


We the people of Montana grateful to God for the quiet beauty of our state, the grandeur of our mountains, the vastness of our rolling plains, and desiring to improve the quality of life, equality of opportunity and to secure the blessings of liberty for this and future generations do ordain and establish this constitution.

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