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Eye On Boise

Court issues substitute opinion in instant racing case, doesn’t change any of its conclusions

The Idaho Supreme Court has issued a substitute opinion in the instant racing case, but it doesn’t change any of its conclusions from its earlier opinion, which held that Gov. Butch Otter’s belated attempt to veto legislation repealing authorization for the slot machine-like gambling terminals was invalid because it wasn’t delivered to the Senate within the Constitution’s five-day deadline, and that the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, which brought the suit, is entitled to attorney fees.

The only changes in the new version of the opinion are in the section awarding attorney fees to the tribe, Section E, which is longer and its legal arguments altered. The justices still reach an identical conclusion.

Not yet decided is the state’s motion to deny payment of $95,000 in attorney fees to the tribe because the state contends the tribe missed a deadline to file its invoice for the fees. The tribe has argued that the deadline didn’t apply to this type of case. You can read the court’s full substitute opinion here, and the original version here. The changes are in the section starting on Page 21 of each document.

Deborah Ferguson, attorney for the tribe, said now that a new opinion has been issued in the case, “It completely replaces the prior opinion and it starts the clock running again.” As far the disputed deadline, “I think it kind of moots the question,” she said, “because a new opinion has been issued which would restart the clock.”

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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