Montana Governor Steve Bullock '94 Returns to Campus to Meet Students Interested in Public Service

Bullock, Who Was Elected Governor After Serving As Montana's Attorney General, Has Dedicated His Career to Public Interest Law.
New York, November 19, 2013—Montana Governor Steve Bullock ’94, who has dedicated his career to public service and was elected after serving as his state’s attorney general, returned to Columbia Law School on Nov. 7 to meet with a new generation of students who are interested in government service.
Montana Governor Steve Bullock '94 talks with Paul Chander '15
Born and raised in Montana, Bullock’s newspaper route as a child included the Montana state house where he now works. The governor met with students individually over a two-day period, discussing their career plans and aspirations. He also delivered a lecture to a packed room of students, faculty, and guests as Social Justice Initiative’s Fall Visitor From Government Service.
Montana Governor Steve Bullock '94
In his talk, Bullock discussed the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision holding that corporations’ electoral expenditures could not be regulated any more stringently than individuals’. As Montana’s attorney general, Bullock filed an amicus brief arguing the case should not apply to state elections. After Citizens United, he successfully defended a state campaign finance law at the Montana Supreme Court. Although the U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the decision in a 5-4 ruling, the case received national attention and reemphasized the importance of campaign financing issues.
Bullock encouraged students to work to improve the democratic process whether through a career in government service or outreach to elected officials.
“Despite the current political realities, I do remain optimistic about the future,” he said. “The challenges don’t make me regret for one second the choice to serve in public office. Perhaps more fundamentally, they don’t cause me to hesitate in encouraging you to view that as a career path as well.”
Bullock was introduced by one of his mentors, James Tierney, former attorney general of Maine and the director of the Law School’s National State Attorneys General Program.