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Eye On Boise

SupCourt: Requirement was OK under Idaho law, but violated U.S. Constitution

The Idaho Supreme Court has ruled that an Idaho state law authorized a state magistrate judge to order random drug tests of the parents of a youngster who was placed on juvenile probation for two counts of petit theft, but that the requirement violated the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizure. The parents “do not have a diminished expectation of privacy in their bodies simply because their daughter is on juvenile probation,” the court held in a unanimous opinion authorized by Justice Warren Jones; you can read it here.

The court upheld an earlier ruling by the Idaho Court of Appeals in the case, State v. Doe, and overturned a district court ruling from Kootenai County upholding the urinalysis requirement. Interestingly, the high court’s opinion goes on at length about how there was proper statutory authority for the magistrate to order the tests under Idaho state law, in part because “drug use by a minor’s parents could reasonably detract from the minor’s education and rehabilitation.” But then, it notes, there’s that constitutional problem.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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