Judge Takes Part In Chamber's Power Hour

District Judge Katherine Bidegaray provided a program regarding "Judicial Impacts on Community" as part of the Sidney Chamber's Community Power Hour series on April 16.

Bidegaray, who is a candidate for the Montana Supreme Court, was born in Sidney. After studying in a one-room schoolhouse, she attended junior high school and high school in Culbertson.

She went on to earn dual bachelor of arts degrees from the University of Montana and obtained her juris doctorate from the University of Montana School of Law.

Bidegaray returned to eastern Montana to run her family's ranch. She then established her legal practice in Sidney.

She was elected as a district judge in 2002 and has served in that position since that time.

During the Power Hour program, Bidegaray noted that she has presided over a wide array of cases in 40 of the state's 56 counties. She stresses fairness and a deep respect for the law.

She says protecting democracy and the constitution are important to her. She's committed to protecting the rights of all Montanans and not to bow down to political pressure.

The judge promises to protect citizens against growing threats to privacy, education and the conservation of the state's untouched landscapes.

She explained to audience members the success of treatment courts since she began them in the area 18 years ago. She notes that treatment courts don't eliminate crime, but they increase the retention in treatment.

"My efforts to establish treatment courts have not only saved taxpayers money but have also changed lives for the better," Bidegaray posted on her campaign website. "I have consistently advocated for individual rights, a testament to my commitment to the people I serve."


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