HELENA, Mont. -

The Montana Supreme Court has ruled in a 4-3 decision that former state solicitor general Lawrence VanDyke is eligible as a candidate for the high court.
    
The Supreme Court reversed a previous decision by District Judge Mike Menahan of Helena that VanDyke could not run because he had not actively practiced law in Montana for five years before announcing his candidacy.
    
But the majority of justices ruled Tuesday that VanDyke's admission to the state bar in 2005 satisfied the five-year eligibility requirement in the state constitution.
    
VanDyke went on inactive status with the Montana bar from March 2007 to November 2012 while he worked out of state.
    
VanDyke is challenging Supreme Court Justice Mike Wheat in November's election.  Wheat recused himself from the court's deliberations of VanDyke's eligibility.