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Eye On Boise

House panel dumps unconstitutional Capitol protest rules, Admin drops plan to appeal

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A House panel ended the state's bid to appeal a federal judge's decision that rules governing protests at the Capitol are unconstitutional. The House State Affairs Committee on Tuesday voted to reject rules that, among other things, had sought to limit protest duration and give special treatment to state events. They were crafted in the wake of the “Occupy Boise” protests of 2011 and 2012. But U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill decided the rules violated constitutional free speech protections last year. Following Tuesday's unanimous committee vote, Idaho Department of Administration Director Teresa Luna says her agency no longer plans to appeal Winmill's decision. She says Winmill's ruling provided guidance on how to craft rules governing Capitol gatherings in a way that doesn't run afoul of the U.S. Constitution.

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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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