Lawsuit

A closely watched court case dealing with whether religious business-owners must provide services to gay couples is headed to oral arguments Friday in Kennewick, Washington.

Luke Malek
Idaho Legislature

A federal appeals court in Seattle hears arguments Monday in a challenge to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) practice of gathering phone records of millions of people not suspected of crimes. North Idaho lawyer Peter Smith will be arguing for the plaintiff, who is his wife.

Updated at 5:58 p.m.

Seventeen states, led by Texas, are suing the Obama administration over its recent executive actions on immigration.

"The Constitution prescribes immigration policy be fixed by Congress — not by presidential fiat," Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, the state's governor-elect, said at a news conference in Austin.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Three environmental groups have filed a lawsuit seeking to halt a wolf- and coyote-hunting derby set for early January in east-central Idaho.

WildEarth Guardians, Cascadia Wildlands and the Boulder-White Clouds Council filed the lawsuit late Thursday in federal court in Idaho against the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Forest Service.

The groups contend the BLM violated environmental laws on Thursday by issuing Idaho for Wildlife a special use permit to hold the competitive derby on BLM land.

internet, computer, broadband,
Sean MacEntee / Flickr Creative Commons

In a ruling that could have major implications for broadband service in schools — and a multimillion-dollar price tag for  Idaho taxpayers — a District Court judge has tossed out Idaho’s $60 million school broadband contract.

The disputed Idaho Education Network contract was declared void late Monday afternoon by 4th District Court judge Patrick Owen.

Owen sharply criticized the state Department of Administration for continuing to try to salvage the 2009 contract, after carving Syringa Networks out of the deal to provide broadband to 219 high schools across the state.

Seven more people have come forward to say they were sexually abused by staffers at a state-run detention center in southwestern Idaho.

The new allegations were detailed in a tort claim filed with the state late Tuesday afternoon. So far at least 10 former detainees at the Idaho Department of Juvenile Correction detention center in Nampa have brought sex abuse allegations against the state, identifying at least half a dozen suspected abusers.

Jessica Robinson / Northwest News Network

Religious conservatives around the country are rallying to the defense of a wedding chapel in north Idaho whose owners don’t want to perform gay marriages.

The mayor of Coeur d’Alene and governor of Idaho are being inundated by hundreds of calls and thousands of emails even though neither has taken any action against the wedding chapel.

The quaint Old West style wedding chapel called the Hitching Post is just across the street from the county courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho has filed a lawsuit against a south-central Idaho school district accusing it of sexually and religiously discriminating against a student.

The Times-News reports that Declo High School and Cassia County School District denied senior Sierra Norman the opportunity to run for student body president last spring.

School officials argue Norman took too many online dual-credit classes to qualify as a full-time student.

ca9.uscourts.gov

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Monday afternoon in California on Idaho’s gay marriage lawsuit. A  lower federal court ruled in May that Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional

Gay marriage, couples, lawsuit
Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

A three judge panel in San Francisco Monday will hear arguments for and against Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage. A lower federal court has already ruled the law unconstitutional, but Idaho is challenging that decision and now the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will weigh in.

A federal judge in Idaho Thursday refused to toss out a challenge to the state's “ag-gag” law that was passed by Idaho legislators earlier this year at the urging of the state’s $2.5 billion dairy industry. The law spells out stiff punishments for people who secretly tape agricultural operations.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho has joined the Idaho Freedom Foundation urging Boise State University to reconsider its on-campus event policies.

Earlier this month, IFF officials said they were willing to pursue all options, including a lawsuit, against BSU unless the school revises its event polices. The IFF objects to the way school officials handled a Second Amendment rights event in May.

A U.S. Navy veteran is suing after the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery refused to allow her to be buried with the ashes of her late wife.

Seventy-four-year-old Madelynn Taylor tried to make advance arrangements last year to have her ashes interred with Jean Mixner at the cemetery.

The couple was legally married in California in 2008, but cemetery employees refused her request because Idaho state law doesn't recognize their marriage.

Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

An anti-abortion organization says Boise State University is violating free speech laws by limiting students' protest to just a handful of areas on campus.

Abolitionists4Life filed the lawsuit against the university Friday. They argue that BSU is violating their First Amendment rights.

The group says the university required them to put up warning signs during a May protest because officials considered their material controversial.

jennie-o / Flickr Creative Commons

On Wednesday a federal judge hears arguments on Idaho’s new “ag gag” law, which creates stiff punishments for people who surreptitiously video or photograph agricultural operations.

MHall209 / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge has denied a request by the Idaho Dairymen's Association to join Idaho in defending the recently passed law criminalizing surreptitious recording at agriculture facilities.

The Times-News reports that U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill shot down the request Monday. Winmill said in his ruling that the state can represent the dairymen's interests without the group getting involved.

The Idaho Supreme Court upheld a district court's decision Tuesday ordering a Boise hospital to pay more than $52 million for violating a partnership it had with an MRI company.

The decision is the latest development in the St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center's lawsuit involving one the largest awards to come out of Idaho district courts.

Butch Otter
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

Idaho’s first same-sex marriages are expected to begin Friday morning after a federal judge denied Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter's request to hold off on the unions while the state works through its appeal process. 

Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot is seeking to include a former Post Register reporter in his defamation lawsuit against Mother Jones.

The newspaper reports in a story on Tuesday that attorneys for VanderSloot have requested that Peter Zuckerman be added to the list of defendants.

VanderSloot, the CEO of direct marketing company Melaleuca, filed the lawsuit against Mother Jones in Idaho Falls' 7th District court in January 2013.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

A federal district judge in Boise hears arguments Monday morning in a lawsuit over same-sex marriage. It challenges Idaho’s 2006 constitutional amendment that bans gay marriage.

Lawyers for Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden are defending the ban.

Four lesbian couples filed the suit last November. Lorie and Sharene Watsen are one of them. When they were thinking about suing to get Idaho to recognize their marriage they were scared. But Sharene says they were also excited.

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