homeless, sign
Emilie Ritter Saunders / Boise State Public Radio

The City of Boise received some good legal news this week: U.S. District Court Judge Ronald E. Bush dismissed a lawsuit against the city Tuesday. The suit, Bell v. the City of Boise, was filed in 2009. The lawsuit alleges the city's camping ordinances criminalize homeless people, and challenged the laws' constitutionality under the Eighth Amendment.

Boise Education Association

The lawsuit announced Thursday against the Boise School District and the Boise Education Association is as much about opposing perspectives on unions as about the constitutional issues it broaches directly.

Matt Northam / Flickr Creative Commons

A federal judge has ruled that Idaho's law banning secret filming of animal abuse at agricultural facilities is unconstitutional.

U.S. Judge Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled Monday the law violates the First Amendment.

A coalition of animal activists, civil rights groups and media organizations sued the state more than a year ago, opposing the so called "ag gag" law. The coalition said the law curtailed freedom of speech and made gathering proof of animal abuse a crime with a harsher punishment than the penalty for animal cruelty.

Scott Ki / Boise State Public Radio

Attorneys representing Idaho inmates in a class action lawsuit over prison health care told a federal judge Wednesday that prison officials intentionally misled a court-appointed examiner and the department should be punished by the court.

But attorneys for the state denied the inmates' claims and countered that the allegations are based on incomplete evidence that has been taken out of context.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Officials from St. Luke's Health System say they will not pursue a U.S. Supreme Court challenge to a federal judge's ruling that its purchase of Saltzer Medical Group violated antitrust laws.

The Idaho Statesman reports that St. Luke's CEO David Pate and board Chairman Skip Oppenheimer wrote in a letter to employees Thursday that they respect the Ninth Circuit Court's decision and are working to separate the two companies.

It’s a lawsuit that’s been going on since 1980 and it may finally be resolved. Known as the “Jeff D.” lawsuit, it focuses on children’s mental health services in Idaho.

Despite repeated attempts to resolve the 35-year-old case, it keeps coming back. At the core of the issue is Idaho’s system for providing care to kids with mental health problems. The plaintiffs says the state isn’t doing enough for those kids.

A Boise State University student is suing school officials in federal court because he contends they discriminated against him by refusing to give him a meningitis vaccine designed for younger adults.

Christopher Burdge doesn't list his age in the lawsuit but states that he is older than 55. Burdge contends that he tried to take part in a free campus vaccination event held last year, but that BSU medical staffers refused to give him the meningitis vaccine because it was designed for people under age 55.

Alliance Defending Freedom

A judge in Benton County, Washington, has ruled that a flower shop in the Tri-Cities broke the law when it refused to serve a gay couple planning a wedding two years ago.

The judge said Barronelle Stutzman broke state anti-discrimination and consumer protection laws. In 2013, she told Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed she couldn't do the flower arrangements for their wedding because of her religious convictions against same-sex marriage.

Jim Peaco | Yellowstone National Park / Flickr Creative Commons

A group of pro-wildlife organizations filed a lawsuit Wednesday against two federal agencies over animal control operations in Idaho. The suit names the USDA’s APHIS Wildlife Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The court filing alleges:

Independent state evaluators say Idaho has spent $10 million on private legal counsel each year since 2011.

The Office of Performance Evaluations told lawmakers Monday that most outside legal work could be provided by the state's attorney general's office. However, limited resources inside Idaho's legal office have hindered how much state attorneys can take on.

Idaho has also paid $1.7 million since 2005 in opposing attorney fees. That includes the roughly $400,000 Idaho paid to the attorneys who successfully overturned the state's gay marriage ban.

Lawrence Wasden
Idaho Public Television

Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says the state will receive $21.5 million after resolving a lawsuit with Standard & Poor's Financial Services.

Wasden in announcing the settlement Tuesday says it's one of the largest settlements ever obtained under Idaho's Consumer Protection Act.

He says the settlement holds S&P accountable for misrepresentations that extended into 2011.

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.

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