Michael E. Wheat
|Michael E. Wheat|
|Current Court Information:|
|Montana Supreme Court|
|Appointed by:||Gov. Brian Schweitzer|
|Preceded by:||John Warner|
|Past post:||Attorney in private practice|
|Past post 2:||Montana State Senate|
|Past term 2:||2002-2010|
|Undergraduate:||University of Montana, 1975|
|Law School:||University of Montana, 1978|
|Military service:||U.S. Marine Corps|
|Candidate for:||Supreme Court|
|Election information 2014:|
Michael E. Wheat is a justice on the Montana Supreme Court. He was appointed to this position by Governor Brian Schweitzer and took office on January 5, 2010. He was appointed to a seat which became vacant after the mid-term retirement of former justice John Warner. By law, Wheat was required to run in the next election to retain his seat. He ran in the November 2010 election and won the right to complete the term, which expires in 2014. He is running for re-election to the Montana Supreme Court in 2014.
| Wheat is running for re-election to the Montana Supreme Court.
Primary: He won the primary on June 3, 2014, receiving 61.5% of the vote. He competed against Lawrence VanDyke.
General: He will face Lawrence VanDyke in the general election on November 4, 2014. Note: VanDyke's candidacy is uncertain due to pending legal challenges. See: Lawrence VanDyke for more information.
- Main article: Montana judicial elections, 2010
- 2010-2014: Justice, Montana Supreme Court
- 2002-2010: Montana State Senate
- 1981-2010: Attorney in private practice
- 1978-1981: Deputy county attorney
Supreme court bid
Wheat was one of 11 attorneys who submitted an application to the Montana Judicial Nominating Commission for the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Three nominees were selected by the commission: Carlo J. Canty, John S. Warren and Wheat. Governor Schweitzer appointed Wheat to the vacancy on January 5, 2010.
In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Wheat received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -1.16, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of -0.87 that justices received in Montana. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.
- Montana Judicial Branch, "Montana Supreme Court," accessed May 9, 2014
- Missoulian, "Bozeman's Mike Wheat appointed to Montana Supreme Court," December 23, 2009
- Montana Judicial Branch, "Supreme Court Justice Biographies, Justice Mike Wheat," accessed April 16, 2014
- The Billings Gazette, "Lawyer, ex-legislator sworn in as justice," January 5, 2010
- Montana Secretary of State, "2014 Candidate Filing List: Non-Legislative," accessed March 20, 2014
- Montana Secretary of State, "Primary Election Results," June 4, 2014 97.6% of precincts fully reporting
- Ravalli Republic, "Judge orders VanDyke off ballot," April 25, 2014
- Gavel Grab, "Two High Court Incumbents Face Challengers in Montana," March 11, 2014
- Helena Independent Record, "Finalists selected for state SupCo nominees," December 2, 2009
- Montana Secretary of State, "Unofficial election results," November 2010
- Montana Judicial Branch, "Supreme Court, Justice Biographies, Justice Mike Wheat, accessed April 30, 2014
- Stanford University, "State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns," October 31, 2012