- Associated Press - Thursday, May 8, 2014

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - The Montana Supreme Court has agreed to fast-track an appeal by the state solicitor general, who wants to campaign for a seat on the high court.

Four justices signed Wednesday’s order to expedite Lawrence VanDyke’s appeal and set a briefing schedule.

A district judge ruled last month that VanDyke does not meet the qualifications to run for Supreme Court because he has not been admitted to active practice of law in Montana for at least five years.

VanDyke says his inactive status in Montana while he was practicing law in Texas should not count against him.

VanDyke is seeking to unseat Justice Mike Wheat, who has recused himself from the case.

Lee Newspapers of Montana reports Chief Justice Mike McGrath also has recused himself after donating $200 to Wheat’s campaign.