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Latest from The Spokesman-Review

Judge rules against media groups in hospital case

A federal judge presiding over an antitrust lawsuit between two major Idaho health care providers has declared that trial testimony and documents can remain hidden from public view, providing attorneys make a compelling case for secrecy. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill's Tuesday ruling came in response to a challenge from a coalition of Idaho news organizations to a broad protective order that sealed documents and closed testimony in the trial to protect trade secrets. The lawsuit focuses on allegations brought by the Idaho Attorney General, the Federal Trade Commission and Saint Alphonsus Health System against St. Luke's Health System; it emerged in the wake of St. Luke's bid to buy Nampa-based Saltzer Medical Group. Click below for a full report from the Associated Press and Idaho Statesman.

Idaho Open Primary Unconstitutional

U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill has declared Idaho's open primary election system unconstitutional with respect to the state's Republican Party primary, which the party passed a rule saying it wants to close. “An important corollary of the right to freely associate is a right not to associate,” Winmill wrote in the decision, issued today. He found “clear evidence of crossover voting” in Idaho's primaries/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question (for Democrats): Will you register as Republicans in order to vote in important legislative and county races that will be decided in the GOP primary (because there is no Democratic opposition)?

Judge Denies Steele Venue Change

A federal judge in Idaho has denied a request by defense lawyers to move a murder-for-hire trial to Wyoming. While Edgar Steele’s case has received media attention, lawyers Robert McAllister and Gary Amendola have not shown that the area is “saturated” with prejudicial publicity about the alleged crimes, U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled today. If the court decides during voir dire that finding an impartial jury in North Idaho is impossible, the trial will be moved to Pocatello or Boise, Winmill said/Meghann Cuniff, SR. More here.

Question: Could you serve as an impartial juror in Steele murder-for-hire case?