After much debate, the Senate has voted 24-11 to kill HB 277a, legislation that sought to permit state constitutional officers to hire their own attorneys, rather than using the Idaho Attorney General's office. Sen. Russ Fulcher, R-Meridian, said the measure would accommodate an officer who wants a different attorney for partisan or philosophical reasons, someone whose “view of the world” matched his or her own. But attorneys in the Senate said that's not how it works. “I think we have here a misunderstanding about what attorneys do when they practice,” said Sen. Les Bock, D-Boise. “They should give their clients … an honest appraisal of what the law is.” Coloring that with politics or ideology, he said, is “not ethical.”
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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