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Friday, October 30, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Raul Labrador says momentum building for bipartisan sentencing reform

Idaho GOP Congressman Raul Labrador says momentum is building in Congress for major criminal justice reforms, aimed at reversing decades of focus on long prison terms, even for non-violent and first-time offenders. “I believe that we’re going to see some of the greatest reforms in a generation,” Labrador told a criminal justice reform conference Monday in Boise.

Judge Winmill: ‘War on Drugs’ an ‘abysmal failure’

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill told a criminal justice reform conference at Concordia University School of Law in Boise today, “From my observations of 28 years having watched the ‘War on Drugs,’ we have seen nothing but, I think, an abysmal failure.” He said,...

Judicial tussles can’t find audience

If the public were this passionate about government, it might move as quickly. But politicians know much of what they do is only of interest to C-SPAN watchers. Both of them.

Obama names new Idaho judge, David Nye

Idaho finally has a new federal district judge nominee, with the announcement today from the White House that Idaho 6th District Judge David Nye will be submitted to the Senate for confirmation.

Eye on Boise: Bipartisan panel picked Idaho’s last federal district judge

With all the questions being raised about the secret selection process Idaho Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo are using to vet candidates for the state’s next U.S. District judge, it’s worth looking at how Idaho did it the last time around. Idaho got a new federal district judge in 1995. The late U.S. District Judge Harold Ryan, who had served since 1981, took senior status on Dec. 30, 1992, and died of cancer on April 10, 1995.

Idaho ag-gag law challenged in federal court

BOISE – When Idaho lawmakers passed the state’s “ag gag” law in 2014, criminalizing surreptitious videotaping of agricultural operations, they said they were targeting “agri-terrorism” and “extremists” who target “our farm families,” particularly by publishing damaging videos online. Now those statements are at issue in federal court, where the law is being challenged as an unconstitutional content-based restriction on free speech – in part because it imposes hefty penalties on those who record at agricultural operations, but not at other types of businesses. The lawmakers’ comments also are being used as evidence of a violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection guarantee, showing that lawmakers were specifically targeting animal activists with the law.

Highway 12 megaload injunction upheld by judge

BOISE – A ban on megaload shipments across a scenic stretch of U.S. Highway 12 will remain in effect after a federal judge denied motions to lift it filed by a division of General Electric and the U.S. Forest Service. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill rejected arguments from the company and the Forest Service that he should either reconsider the injunction he issued or stay the injunction while the company appeals it. The injunction bans the loads until the Forest Service has conducted a corridor study and consulted with the Nez Perce Tribe.

Federal judge to rule on megaloads by Friday

BOISE – Nez Perce tribal leaders urged a federal judge Monday to halt shipments of giant oil-field equipment across their reservation en route to Canada’s tar sands – even as more truckloads are poised to roll. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill said he would rule by Friday before a second 225-foot-long, 640,000-pound water evaporator is hauled across U.S. 12, the winding highway across the Bitterroot Mountains of Idaho and Montana.

Judge blocks Idaho anti-union law

BOISE, Idaho — A federal judge has blocked a new state law that sought to strip labor unions of power, ruling the measure passed this year during a flurry of anti-union zeal in the Idaho Legislature likely conflicts with federal law.

Judge says Steele witness unreliable

BOISE – Edgar Steele’s defense won’t be able to call two expert witnesses it lined up to question the authenticity of FBI tapes of Steele talking about an alleged murder-for-hire plot against his wife, a federal judge in Boise ruled Thursday. The testimony and expertise from one of the experts was unreliable, U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill found, and the qualifications and testimony of the second were irrelevant, at least at this point.

Editorial: Closing vote in Idaho carries price for taxpayers

Idaho is going through the same challenges that Washington state faced when its independent-oriented election system was ruled unconstitutional by the courts. But instead of trying to preserve that independence, the Idaho Legislature is trying to permanently eradicate it. U.S. District Court Judge Lynn Winmill said the Idaho Republican Party presented compelling evidence that voters crossed over from other parties to influence the outcomes of primary elections. This, he wrote, violated the party’s First Amendment right of free association.