Raph Graybill, Governor Steve Bullock’s Chief Legal Counsel, is running for the Democratic nomination for Montana Attorney General.

Graybill appeared on KGVO’s Talk Back Show recently and answered questions from listeners.

One listener asked Graybill if he would counsel Governor Bullock not to turn undocumented aliens into the U.S. Immigration and Enforcement Agency, as was decided by the Montana Supreme Court.

Graybill said the answer turned on the term ‘federalism’.

“In America under our constitution we have something called ‘federalism,” began Graybill. “An important concept in federalism is that the federal government cannot force state governments like Montana to enforce federal law. That’s the job of the federal government. When I saw that case before the Montana Supreme Court, that’s what I saw that case as being fundamentally about. It’s not about immigration law per se, it’s about whether the feds can force the state to do its bidding.”

Graybill was also asked if the limits placed upon Montana citizens during the COVID 19 pandemic were constitutional.

“I was up at 6:00 a.m. grocery shopping today and the grocery store I went to in Helena has these little red dots of the floor to show you where you can stand,” he said. “I don’t see those red dots as a violation of my civil liberties, but rather I see them as a useful reminder to not make the clerks sick, or the person behind me sick, or to get sick from the person behind me.”

Graybill was also asked how Governor Bullock could pick and choose which businesses would be open during the shutdown and which would remain closed.

“That’s actually derived from President Trump,” he said. “Through his Department of Homeland Security, he put out this big document that defined who is and is not essential. We haven’t reinvented the wheel here, except to add some Montana businesses in, but that’s generally speaking a call that the President is making and we want to make sure that the businesses that are essential stay open and as soon as we possibly can, get everyone back to work.”

On the Democratic ticket, Graybill is up against Missoula attorney and legislator Kimberly Dudik in the June primary.

The current Attorney General is Tim Fox, who is running for Governor.

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