Cal Zastrow, Former Constitution Party National Field Director, Wins Lawsuit Against Montana

On October 2, Calvin Zastrow won his case against Montana over two issues that arose when he was arrested earlier in the year while petitioning for an initiative. He had been collecting signatures on public property at a Billings sports complex called MetraPark. He was charged with trespassing. Zastrow then filed a federal lawsuit, charging the arrest was illegal. He also attacked a 99-year-old Montana state law that bans ministers, priests, preachers, or other church officers from urging, persuading, or commanding any voter “to vote or refrain from voting for or against any candidate, political party ticket, or ballot issue.”

Even though Zastrow had not been charged with breaking this law, the Court found he had standing to challenge it. The state settled the case by admitting that the ban on speech by officers of a church is unconstitutional, and also by admitting that Zastrow had a right to be petitioning at MetraPark. See this story. The lawsuit is Zastrow v Bullock, 1:12-cv-18.

Zastrow is a past state chair of the Michigan Constitution Party and a past national field officer for the party. The initiative he was working for relates to abortion. Thanks to Rick Hasen for the link.

2 comments

  1. Gary Odom · · Reply

    From one ex-Constitution Party National Field Director to another…Congratulations! You are striking a blow on behalf of the 1st Amendment and electoral freedom.

    I have been on the other side of some party issues with Cal, but he is the best petitioner I have seen in action other than Nicholas Sumbles, for whom there is absolutely no peer. Both of these gentlemen as well as my friend, Janine Hansen, have been arrested and put through the ringer during their petitioning careers and have come out ahead for all their trials and tribulations. I salute them all.

  2. Petitioners getting access to locations for signature gathering is a huge issue, so congratulations are in order any time anyone achieves a victory for our side.

    I’d really like to see criminal penalties brought against anyone who interferes with our right to petition.

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