May 24, 2007 in Idaho

In her words: Idaho Supreme Court Justice Linda Copple Trout

The Spokesman-Review
 

Here’s what Idaho Supreme Court Justice Linda Copple Trout had to say on an array of issues:

Women on the court: “I’m very hopeful that minorities will continue to be represented on the court, in gender, nationality, race. … I think the court is at its best when it reflects the population it serves, and diversity is an important part of that.”

Water rights: Trout said when she changed her vote – swinging a 3-2 decision in favor of federal reserved water rights to a 3-2 decision against them on reconsideration – she did so because of new information. “There were questions about whether I was doing that just to save my job,” she said. “I can say that did not factor in.”

School funding lawsuit: “The Legislature has not carried out its responsibilities (regarding funding for school construction). … They have the constitutional duty. We have articulated that for them. They need to do what is necessary in order to carry out that responsibility.”

Court records online: “I think we’ll go more and more to that, so that we’re much more accessible, we’re much more transparent in terms of a citizen’s ability to go online and look at a case and look at the pleadings and look at a judge’s decision and all of those things. And I think that can only help us.”

Cameras in the courtroom: “I watch the nightly news and I’ll see a clip of a judge and I think, that is wonderful, in part because the public gets to see the process in a way that they can relate to. … They can actually see the defendant, for example, being sentenced. … It gives the public a more accurate view than some of the programs that they might watch on TV.”

Changes in the courts: Idaho’s courts have seen a “dramatic increase” in cases involving land-use issues in the past 10 years, and Trout expects that to continue. Water issues also remain a major challenge for the courts. Plus, new ways of resolving disputes are emerging, along with approaches such as drug and mental health courts.

– Betsy Z. Russell

Get stories like this in a free daily email


Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus