Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Rain 75° Rain

Eye On Boise

Justice Jones: ‘Judicial elections are different kinds of animals’

There are more than 50 people in the audience as the four candidates for Idaho Supreme Court speak today at an Idaho State Bar forum. Outgoing Chief Justice Jim Jones opened the session, saying, “This is a wonderful idea, and I’m glad so many people came out to see these candidates. I had no idea that the job I have is so desirable.” To laughter, he said, “Had I known that, I may have decided to keep it.”

Jones noted, “Judicial elections are different kinds of animals.” After he “ran for Congress a couple of times in the late ‘70s,” Jones said he was surprised when he first ran in a judicial election. “I looked at the Code of Judicial Conduct, and there’s practically nothing that you can say. You can’t talk about issues, you can’t talk about your prior party affiliation. It was really difficult to figure out what was permissible and what wasn’t permissible.”

But Jones said there are some things judicial candidates can discuss as they run for office. “You can talk about your background, where you came from, what you’ve done in the past, what you’ve learned from what you’ve done in the past,” he said. “You can talk about what you would like to see to improve the judicial system. …  You aren’t restricted from saying anything at all. But you just have to exercise some restraint, not give people any idea of where you’re going to be coming from on a particular issue.”

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.

Follow Betsy online: