Visual Arts Collective / Facebook

Idaho State Police will no longer enforce a liquor law that regulates live performances in venues that serve alcohol.

That’s according to the ACLU of Idaho, after it sued the state agency this month on behalf of a group of artists and a Treasure Valley venue owner. The law focuses on performances of a sexual nature, but plaintiffs argued it amounts to censorship and is unconstitutional.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

There’s a legal fight going on over control of water in the Treasure Valley. The rhetoric in the fight has been intense. One side even has an ad campaign. 

Imagine a movie-theater preview voice comes up over cheery music reminiscent of a babbling brook. 

“Irrigation water, it makes the Treasure Valley a lush green miracle instead of a desert landscape. Imagine a typical 105 degree summer day. Now imagine your irrigation water is completely shut off to your lawn, garden, farm or favorite park.” The music stops.

August Dean Elliott died last September after being admitted to St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center for a cardiac arrhythmia. According to the suit, the nurse who treated him, Jeffrey Smith, failed to check the dosage of the medicine ordered by the doctor. The baby died within hours of receiving an adult dose of saline solution infused with potassium phosphate.

Micron Headquarters Building
Dan Greenwood / Boise State Public Radio

We learned last week that Harvard University is suing Micron Technology over patent infringement. Micron isn’t commenting on the suit. If it goes to court, the company will likely argue that the technology it uses is based on a patent it owns, not the one developed by Harvard.

The owners of the Village Cinemas in Meridian are suing the Idaho State Police because the agency wants to revoke the theater’s liquor license. The action stems from an instance last February when undercover officers say they were served alcohol at a showing of Fifty Shades of Grey, an R-rated movie about sexual fetishes. Idaho law prohibits alcohol at movies that include sexual content.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

It may be the beginning of the end for the homeless tent city near downtown Boise.

Thursday morning residents of the alley known as Cooper Court were awoken by Boise Police officers handing out warnings. The notices listed several laws people were breaking by sleeping in the alley and notified them that they could be fined or jailed.

The tents are located by the Connector in downtown, in an alley off Americana Boulevard and River Street. It's behind the Interfaith Sanctuary homeless shelter.

Adam Cotterell / Boise State Public Radio

 Thursday marks one year since same-sex marriage became legal in Idaho. That means it’s also the one year wedding anniversary for Rachael and Amber Beierle. The Beierlies are one of four couples who sued to overturn Idaho’s ban on gay marriage. We heard from them several times over the course of their lawsuit.

This week, our Adam Cotterell checked in with the couple to see how their lives have changed. The biggest difference, Amber says, is a third member in their family...who was also there for our interview. Hear all three Beierlies by clicking play.

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.