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I see that Bowen Greenwood, candidate for clerk of the Montana Supreme Court, has paid for a letter from former District Court Judge Russell Fagg soliciting support. The letter includes numerous statements that support the idea of tainting the clerk's office with political concerns.

I have great concern about Fagg's suggestion that a court clerk should and could solicit the filing of briefs in a case. I have been an attorney for over 35 years and, for most of those years, I have practiced in the Montana Supreme Court. I have also practiced in district and limited jurisdiction courts across Montana. In every court, the clerk's responsibility is to maintain the records of the court, while assuring access to those records by all concerned. It is not to advocate for a position. That practice is for the attorneys in any given case.

Greenwood's goals, as stated in Fagg's letter, would corrupt the court clerk system upon which our communities rely. The impartiality of our courts should be jealously guarded and maintained, including in the practices of a clerk's office.

Rex Renk has worked in the office of the clerk for over 23 years. By contrast to Greenwood, he knows the importance of maintaining court records for access and use by all Montanans. He is completely helpful and professional in his approach to the work of the clerk's office. He would not make procedural determinations in a particular case based on political or personal concerns.

Barbara Harris


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