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Idaho governor vetoes bill on judicial appointment process

UPDATED: Wed., March 30, 2022

By Keith Ridler Associated Press

BOISE — Idaho Gov. Brad Little on Wednesday vetoed legislation involving the process for judicial appointments.

The Republican governor in his veto message wrote that he sees a need for modernization, but lawmakers need to spend more time talking with those involved in the process.

The proposed law passed the House and Senate with large majorities, but not enough to overcome a veto in either chamber. Idaho lawmakers are meeting Thursday, and could attempt to override the veto.

The proposed law would have increased the number of members on the nonpartisan Idaho Judicial Council from seven to 11. The council nominates judges to district courts, appeals court and the Idaho Supreme Court.

In general, the proposed law tilted judge selection toward governors and lawmakers and away from the judicial branch.

“My office stands ready to support future efforts to modernize and improve the process by which Idaho fills judicial vacancies,” Little wrote in his veto letter. “I encourage my friends in the judicial and legislative branches to collaborate and identify areas of compromise that will increase transparency, preserve impartiality, and improve judicial recruitment.”

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