That would cost state coffers an estimated $79 million a year.
And then there’s the role of the courts as well as the balance of powers between Idaho’s legislative and executive branches – something that’s been debated since the state was formed and that’s recently been tipping toward the legislative side. The lawsuit is a direct attack on a 1978 Idaho Supreme Court ruling that’s stood unchallenged for nearly 40 years, charging that the state’s highest court overstepped its bounds and tried to “amend the Idaho Constitution by judicial fiat.”
Here’s a look at how the arguments are shaping up in advance of the showdown before the five-member Idaho Supreme Court. Betsy Russell/SR