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Guest Post: Justice Trout – Idahoans are Too Stupid to Pick Their Own Judges

May 25th, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer of Idaho Values Alliance

In an expression of astonishing judicial arrogance, Idaho Supreme Court Justice Linda Copple Trout announced yesterday that she is leaving her term on the bench early just so ordinary Idahoans can be excluded from selecting her successor.

Said Trout, “There are a lot of problems with the system, but the biggest problem is people don’t know how to make a choice on who would make a good judge.”

It would be harder to imagine a more egregious display of hubris and contempt for ordinary Idahoans, who know exactly what they want in a judge: someone who knows the constitution, will apply it fairly and evenhandedly, and will refuse to legislate from the bench.

And we want candidates who will let the public know whether or not they agree with Idaho’s state constitution.

Trout joins Idaho Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerald Schroeder in early retirement, who is stepping down this summer for exactly the same reason.

Trout herself was appointed, by Democrat governor Cecil Andrus, and Schroeder was likewise an appointee to the court in 1995. Although justices must eventually stand for re-election, the re-election of appointed judges is virtually guaranteed since they then appear on the ballot as incumbents.

As David Ripley of Idaho Chooses Life observes, this process is an obvious end-run around the constitutionally designed process by which judges are to be selected.

Says Ripley, “Now Justice Trout confirms that there is, in fact, a conspiracy within the state’s judiciary to effectively ignore the Constitution. These elites have decided to simply amend the Constitution without so much as a public court opinion or legislative act.”
Trout actually believes that forcing judges to run for office “tarnishes the judiciary,” essentially because it opens them up to campaign ads that expose their liberal leanings.

When District Judge Ronald Wilper, in a gross display of judicial activism, denied the Keep the Commandments Coalition the right to a vote on its duly qualified petition in 2004, the Idaho Supreme Court slapped him down 4-1 on appeal. The only justice who voted against the people’s right to vote? Linda Copple Trout.

Trout complained about independent television ads that ran in her 2002 election, saying, “I never dreamed that I would see ‘Liberal Linda Trout’ on TV.” Despite Trout’s complaint that the label was “unfair and untrue,” it appears to an objective observer that it was a simple statement of fact.

To make matters worse, Judge Wilper is now a member of the seven-member Idaho Judicial Council who will select the short list of nominees to send on to the governor for Trout’s replacement.

Trout disdains a judicial election as nothing more than “a popularity contest,” overlooking the fact that the selection of her replacement may be exactly that, with the edge going to candidates who have done their best to be well-liked members of the clubby judicial establishment.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Politics in General | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: Justice Trout Confirms Judicial Conspiracy

May 25th, 2007 by Halli

From Idaho Chooses Life

Yesterday morning, Idaho Justice Linda Copple Trout announced that she is going to resign her position on the high court this summer so that her successor can be appointed rather than elected by the people of Idaho:

The Idaho Statesman reports that Trout “is more comfortable having a committee screen possible successors for Gov. Otter than have voters try to pick her replacement.”


We’ve complained before about justices on the Idaho Supreme Court circumventing the Idaho Constitution in order to help ensure that it remains an institution formed in their image. But those complaints were based on speculation and a pile of suspicious resignations. Now Justice Trout confirms that there is, in fact, a conspiracy within the state’s judiciary to effectively ignore the Constitution. These elites have decided to simply amend the Constitution without so much as a public court opinion or legislative act.

I guess you have to credit Trout for coming clean – but it is clearly reprehensible that a little legal cabal centered in Boise has simply decided that voters will no longer be given the privilege of selecting justices for the high court. Once again, Liberals find the written Constitution, with its recognition of rights inhering in the People, to be a great annoyance.

A related story in the Twin Falls paper quotes former Speaker of the House Bruce Newcomb as supportive of Trout’s open defiance of the Idaho Constitution: “These elections anymore are so ugly”. That is not a big surprise. He is a long-standing friend of the justice, and once introduced a constitutional amendment to limit judicial elections to a Soviet-style choice: Under the Newcomb plan, we poor folk would be given the simple-minded choice of affirming candidates selected for us by our superiors. In the strange circumstance where a majority of Idahoans voted against a judicial candidate, the cabal would simply gather to select for us another of their liking.

Thankfully, Mr. Newcomb no longer runs the show in the Idaho House. It is time for the Legislature to begin a serious consideration of this whole matter. We are not simply talking about judicial selection or personalities. In this case, we are talking about the checks and balances of constitutional government, whereby the state’s Founding Fathers wisely sought to protect the public from an unaccountable judiciary.

Furthermore, the Legislature has a duty to protect the Constitution’s integrity, especially when it is being rewritten by a small group of self-interested lawyers. That process (or lack of process) cannot be allowed to stand.

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Posted in Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues, Taxes | No Comments »

Time to Take Another GOP Presidential Candidate Poll

May 24th, 2007 by Halli

Scroll down to participate in the next GOP candidate poll, thanks to GOP Bloggers. Once you have cast your vote, be sure to check the current poll results.

Also be sure to follow the links to the results of previous polls – you may be surprised at the changing trends.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, National Sovereignty, Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post: Planned Parenthood Sued by Ohio Teen

May 24th, 2007 by Halli

From Idaho Chooses Life

Evidence of Planned Parenthood’s policy-driven refusal to abide by state reporting laws continues to mount. Just this week the Life Legal Defense Foundation announced that it was filing a lawsuit against Planned Parenthood of Ohio for its failure to protect a girl being victimized by her father.

In filing the lawsuit, Dana Cody of the Foundation argued that Planned Parenthood is guilty of violating Ohio law:

“The girl’s father took her to Planned Parenthood for an abortion and birth control. Rather than report the under-aged pregnancy to law enforcement, Planned Parenthood went ahead with the abortion. And because of the birth control provided, the sexual abuse continued and was covered up.”

The complaint alleges that the sexual abuse continued for another year-and-a-half before a basketball coach reported her suspicions to law enforcement. The father was eventually tried and convicted of sexual assault.

Given the size and power of Planned Parenthood, it seems unlikely that any state government will be able to force it to comply with reporting requirements. Our best hope for change in their organizational defiance is through stiff financial sanctions imposed by juries in cases like this.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

Your Water and Idaho’s Conjunctive Water Management

May 23rd, 2007 by Halli

David Tuthill, director of the Idaho Department of Water Resources, has issued a list of potential recipients of water curtailment letters. Included in that list are a number of cities, including Idaho Falls, Ammon, Blackfoot, American Falls, Shelley.

As Tuthill states in his letter containing the “Notice of Potential Curtailment of Ground Water Rights”,

This letter is provided to inform you that I am preparing a curtailment order for issuance on May 24, 2007, that may affect the above identified water right or rights.

We must wonder what will happen in the city of Idaho Falls (or Blackfoot, Paul, Chubbuck, or Iona, for that matter) on May 24? There are a number of possibilities.

First we ask: when residents of Idaho Falls turn on the kitchen faucet on the morning of May 24, will anything come out, or will the “well run dry”?

Will Idaho Falls finally be forced to meter residential water? Most non-residents cannot comprehend the current system, which is a flat monthly charge for unlimited potable water. As one sage observed, Idaho Falls residents can open every faucet inside or outside their home and leave them 24/7 – with never an additional charge. Of course, to the dispassionate observer this makes no sense in an area prone to drought, locked in a prolonged drought cycle.

And should meters be installed in every residence, who will foot the large bill? You can bet home owners will pick up the tab, one way or another.

Finally, might Idaho Falls leaders simply ignore a curtailment order? And if they choose that route, will a judge intervene? Or even the Idaho State Police?

And just to “muddy the water” further, remember that the Idaho Constitution stipulates,

“when the waters of any natural stream are not
sufficient for the service of all those desiring the use of the same, those
using the water for domestic purposes shall
(subject to such limitations as
may be prescribed by law) have the preference over those claiming for any
other purpose”

In other words, water use in homes has the highest priority of all. What is Mr. Tuthill thinking?

But the Idaho Constitution notwithstanding, make no mistake about it: if you live in the curtailment area, you will be affected.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Idaho Falls Issues, Idaho Legislature, Politics in General | No Comments »

Guest Post: Thoughts on Illegal Immigration from Idaho Values Alliance

May 23rd, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer of Idaho Values Alliance


A constituent email received from Sen. Mike Crapo’s office indicates that he, unlike Sen. Craig, may have received and heard the message so many of you sent to his office regarding the Bush-McCain-Kennedy amnesty bill.

Here are excerpts:

“Rarely does an issue evoke more interest from so many Idahoans and people across the nation than the issue of immigration reform and border security. Like my colleagues, I have received thousands of calls, letters, and emails on this issue, and I value the input from all viewpoints .

“[T]he proposed solution is flawed. The proposal does not apply some of the potential solutions in the plan to the millions of people who have entered the country illegally. Rather than creating an opportunity for those who have entered this country to participate in a provisional temporary guest worker program, the legislation would create a separate category providing permanent legal residency for the millions of individuals who have entered the country illegally. I continue to believe a person should not gain an advantage or benefit toward citizenship or legal permanent resident status as a result of illegal entry into the U.S. This only encourages further illegal immigration. Until this issue is properly addressed, this proposal should not be moved through the Senate.”


Despite the provisions in the new amnesty bill that call for a crackdown on employers who hire illegals, experience shows that meaningful enforcement of such provisions is be an utterly vain hope at best.

Despite the fact that the 1986 amnesty bill empowered the IRS to fine employers for filing inaccurate W-2s, one Illinois employer has filed 131,991

W-2 forms with mismatching Social Security numbers over the last five years with the IRS. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), illegal-alien workers are the “primary cause” for this type of “non-match” W-2s.

While this Illinois employer is the national champion in this sorry competition, close behind is a Texas employer who filed 108,302 “non-match” W-2s over the same period. In fact, 15 Texas employers – and figures are drawn from the time that our current president was governor of the state – ranked among the top 100 offenders. From 1997-2001, these 15 employers sent a total of 401,167 “non-match” W-2s to the IRS.

As columnist Terence Jeffrey says, “Hiring illegal aliens was not a small business when George Bush governed Texas. It was big business.”‘ That naturally sheds light on the president’s current unwillingness to promote any kind of meaningful border security.

Worse, according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the IRS has never, not once, not a single time, fined an employer for filing false W-2s. Thus, the IRS has already granted full amnesty to employers who hire illegals, despite the fact that the SSA compiles a list every year of every employer who filed more than 100 “non-match” W-2s.

So cobbed up is the federal bureaucracy on this matter that the SSA claims that IRS code actually prevents it from sharing this information with the Department of Homeland Security.

This inclines the objective observer to think that any proposed enforcement in this new immigration bill is a sham, only for show, and unlikely ever to be utilized. Immigration Reform::By Terence Jeffrey


The reality is there are no such jobs. Even in agriculture, in which illegal immigrants have the highest representation, only 24% of the workforce are illegals. The other 76% are Americans, doing jobs we’re told that “Americans won’t do.”

Further, over the last half-century the U.S. has enjoyed such chronic agricultural surpluses that American taxpayers have coughed up billions of dollars a year to buy the surplus, find some place to store it, or try to get rid of it internationally at below-market prices.

Fewer agricultural workers would mean smaller agricultural surpluses, and corresponding savings, in the billions of dollars, to American taxpayers.

As Thomas Sowell points out, earlier waves of immigration were different in character than the current wave. Immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries came here to become Americans. Organized efforts within their own communities and in the society around them helped them assimilate.

Today, however, illegal immigration activists are working in just the opposite direction, demanding instead that society adjust to them rather than the other way round. They insist that everything be made accessible to them in their own language, which radically diminishes their need to learn English. This keeps foreign subcultures alive in American society and contributes to the Balkanization of the American population through an anger-driven multiculturalism.

In addition, young immigrants are being fed a steady diet of historic grievances against the U.S. by the education system, the media, and political leaders, which hardly predisposes them to be grateful for the opportunities offered them in this land.

As to what can be done with the 12 million people already here illegally, Sowell says perceptively, “We can stop them from becoming 40 million or 50 million, the way 3 million illegals became 12 million after the previous amnesty” in 1986.

In effect, Sowell points out, the new amnesty bill allows residents of foreign countries to decide what qualifications are required to enter this country rather letting those decisions be made by representatives of the United States. Amnesty Fraud: Part II::By Thomas Sowell


Tony Blankley points out the utter inconsistency and illogic coming from supporters of the new amnesty bill. They argue that we must permit amnesty because it’s impossible to round up all 12 million illegals.

Yet they turn right around and claim that magically the same bureaucracies will suddenly be able to identify all 12 million illegals, flawlessly run background checks on them all, confirm the identity of each one, and monitor all American businesses to make sure no new illegals are being hired.

As Blankley says, “Just a little intellectual accountability might yield a more considered and rational policy-making process.” Inconsistencies::By Tony Blankley


Rush Limbaugh, who is a pretty smart guy, perceptively observed on his program yesterday that not only is GOP support for amnesty “stupid,” it is also suicidal. In other words, it’s not only the wrong thing to do, it’s not even the smart thing to do.

Of Republicans who support the amnesty bill, Limbaugh said the following:

“They’re just blind on this. They have no clue what the result of this, if it were enacted as written, would do to them. They have no idea what it would do to their party. They can’t. They can’t have any idea, otherwise they wouldn’t be supporting this.”

If the law passes, Mr. Limbaugh said, “we are going to import so many people who will be, by their economic necessity … they’re going to become Democrat voters, and this brings about … a genuine threat to the viability of a conservative movement in this country as having any practical reason to exist. … This is the thing the Republicans don’t see. This is precisely why the Democrats are for this. …”

“The point of [the immigration bill] is to make it just impossible for the conservative movement to have any practical reason to exist in terms of a majority movement in this country.”

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, National Sovereignty | No Comments »

Guest Post: Murders in North Idaho Preventable?

May 22nd, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer of Idaho Values Alliance

You certainly are aware by now of the three murders committed in North Idaho on Saturday night and Sunday morning, by a suicidal man who killed himself at the end of the shooting spree.

Sadly, all three of his victims would be alive today had Idaho law been followed in dealing with this man in his previous encounters with the law for his violent propensities.

Buried in the Idaho Statesman’s story is this arresting paragraph:

In September 2005, Hamilton was arrested on a felony strangulation charge involving a girlfriend he had while separated from his wife. He was convicted of misdemeanor domestic battery of the girlfriend, who survived, and was sentenced to 180 days in jail, with 90 days suspended as long as he received followed court orders for counseling, Duke said.

What is noteworthy here is that although this clearly was a case of attempted murder, he was convicted of only a misdemeanor charge and apparently served just 90 days of a 180 day sentence.

However, according to Idaho law (18-4015), “Every person who assaults another with intent to commit murder, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not less than one (1) nor more than (14) years.”

Had he been prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, he would have been behind bars Saturday night – and remained there until 2019 – instead of loose in the streets of Moscow. His wife, officer Lee Newbill, and the church sexton he murdered before turning the gun on himself would all be alive today if his earlier punishment had fit the crime.

The fundamental purpose of government is to protect its citizens from violence through appropriate punishment. When justice is not done, the end result is that additional innocent people suffer, and what happened in Moscow over the weekend is tragic proof.

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Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | 1 Comment »

Guest Post: DC Pundits Openly Cheer for Pro-Abort GOP

May 22nd, 2007 by Halli

From Idaho Chooses Life

A column appears in yesterday’s Congressional Quarterly – one of the more prestigious political journals out of the nation’s capital – predicting that the Republican Party is on the verge of abandoning its social conservative base. The columnist is Craig Crawford, and his piece is entitled, “GOP Makeover”.

His view is that this makeover is driven by the party’s recent losses in Congress: “Stung by the loss of Congress and dealing with a president in a tailspin, the Republican Party is now engaged in a bruising battle to loosen kits longstanding ties to social conservatism and reshape its image for mainstream voters.”

Such a statement, removed from historical and factual context, might reasonably make pro-Life activists, in particular, quite anxious for the future. (Let’s be honest here: When “smart” pundits like Crawford speak about ‘social conservatism’, they mean those of us who have the crazy notion that human babies in the womb are actually human babies in the womb).

However, this is just the sort of dribble which ascends from Washington media types on a regular basis.

Crawford points to the apparent rising ascendancy of candidates like Rudy Giuliani, who has sometimes proudly proclaimed his pro-abortion views. But what Crawford fails to wrestle with is a slew of recent polling data showing Rudy dropping in preference among Republican voters exactly because of his abortion politics. Thus, he is a bit short of evidence that some sort of widespread revolt is underway.

But implicit in his piece – though he doesn’t have the guts to tackle the issue directly – is the notion that pro-Lifers are responsible for the Republican losses in Congress. And to the degree that his argument/analysis is founded upon this ridiculous belief, his position moves past wrong to the absurd.

Every polling report on the past three election cycles demonstrates that pro-Lifers have been crucial to Republican victories at the polls. Many published articles, including some written by Democrat operatives, concluded that it was Kerry’s pro-abort position which cost him the presidency. Aside from the moral questions involved, it would simply be practically insane for the Republican Party to abandon its pro-Life/pro-Family base.

Crawford’s piece is, therefore, nothing more than a cheerleading piece for his RINO friends around DuPont Circle. And despite his fervent hopes, there is simply no possibility that Rudy Giuliani will become the Republican nominee.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts | No Comments »

Guest Post: Lewiston Tribune Attacks Idaho Values Alliance

May 21st, 2007 by Halli

From Bryan Fischer of the Idaho Values Alliance


One of the four specific goals of the IVA – in addition to promoting and defending religious liberty, the sanctity of the family, and the sanctity of life – is promoting and defending judicial restraint.

We received national attention for the Citizen Information Questionnaire we sent out to all 19 candidates for the soon-to-be vacant seat on the Idaho Supreme Court (WorldNetDaily: Judge wannabes refuse to endorse constitution).

For our effort to give candidates the chance to let the public know something about their judicial philosophy, we have already been attacked once by the Lewiston Morning Tribune, in a recent Tom Henderson column. Yesterday morning, it was Jim Fisher’s turn to go after us in print.

His column appears below. After using words like “rotten,” “preposterous,” “boorish,” and “impertinent” (this from someone who no doubt fancies himself to be the very voice of tolerance) to describe our effort, he then accuses us of “cherry-picking” our questions from the constitution.

The only example he gives is when we asked candidates whether they agreed or disagreed with the constitution’s mandate that, “The legislature should further all wise and well directed efforts for the promotion of temperance and morality.”

Well, it’s in there, and if a judge is going to take an oath to uphold the entire constitution, then he’s taking an oath to support that mandate like every other. It’s perfectly appropriate for the people to know whether his oath applies to the entire constitution or just to the parts that happen to be politically in vogue at the moment.

Further, he accuses us of doing something inappropriate by reminding the public that Dan Eismann filled out a much more extensive questionnaire when he ran against sitting judge Cathy Silak in 2000. His opponent did what all 19 current candidates have done – refused to answer it at all. (Silak’s questionnaire was in fact returned, but with no response other than a profanity scrawled across the first page, the same profanity Sen. John McCain used last week in a heated argument with a fellow senator over the amnesty bill.)

But despite what Fisher considers some kind of horrible breach of judicial etiquette, which included his rejection of the scientifically bankrupt theory of evolution, Eismann won that race 59-41, which in political circles is like Custer at the Little Big Horn. Current candidates could only hope that filling out our questionnaire would do as much damage to their hopes as Eismann’s response did to his.

A justice who did what court applicants didn’t

Jim Fisher
May 20, 2007

What a rotten thing Bryan Fischer of the Idaho Values Alliance has done to Idaho Supreme Court Justice Daniel Eismann. After all 19 applicants for a vacancy on the state’s highest court refused to fill out the alliance’s questionnaire about their judicial and political leanings, Fischer issued a reminder that Eismann was not so cautious.

“When Judge Dan Eismann ran for a seat on the Idaho Supreme Court in 2000, he filled out a much more extensive questionnaire than this one,” Fischer, a former Boise preacher, says in a news release. The headline over the release says “All 19 Supreme Court candidates flunk constitutional questionnaire.”

Fischer doesn’t say how refusing to participate in his test constitutes flunking it. But he does venture two reasons why they did not say whether they agreed with his list of propositions, which he says were derived from the Idaho Constitution.

“One possibility is that the candidates didn’t even recognize that these statements come word for word from the state constitution, which is pretty alarming,” he says.

It is also preposterous. The people who want to succeed Chief Justice Gerald Schroeder, who is retiring from the bench, include current judges, veteran deputy attorneys general, the majority leader of the state Senate and at least one former president of the Idaho State Bar. The suggestion they do not recognize provisions of the state constitution is as boorish as it is impertinent.

“The second possibility, “Fischer continues, “is that they did recognize them as coming from the constitution, but weren’t willing to let the public know whether they agree with it. That’s even worse.”

But is it? Another thing Fischer neglects to mention is that his cherry-picked provisions from the constitution – including the promotion of “temperance and sobriety” and permitting school levy elections to be restricted to property owners – are not his only questions. It also asks candidates to identify which U.S. Supreme Court justices most reflect their judicial philosophies and which U.S. presidents most reflect their political philosophies.

Those questions alone provide good reason for anyone seeking a Supreme Court seat to shun the questionnaire. Justices are not legislators, and are expected to deal with cases before them on their legal and constitutional, not their political, merits.

But Fischer is correct that Eismann did what these candidates did not. When he successfully challenged incumbent Justice Cathy Silak seven years ago, he responded to a questionnaire from the Christian Coalition, proclaiming, for example, that he was pro-life on the abortion issue. On another issue, he wrote this: “I think you can prove scientifically that evolution has not and cannot occur.”

That would, of course, be news to scientists. But it was no doubt music to Bryan Fischer’s ears.

Good for the current band of court candidates that they refused to play his tune. – J.F.

Posted in Constitutional Issues, Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Legislature | No Comments »

Guest Post: Planned Parenthood Deviance Continues

May 21st, 2007 by Halli

From Idaho Chooses Life

There has been a wealth of evidence developed over the years that Planned Parenthood systematically ignores various state laws designed to protect underage girls from sexual predators. Most states have laws requiring medical personnel and other professionals coming into information about possible sexual abuse of underage girls to report those suspicions to law enforcement.

Yet it appears that Planned Parenthood, as a matter of organizational policy, refuses to adhere to these legal requirements. Controversies have raged in California, Iowa and Kansas over the past several years. Yet the defiance continues.

The most exhaustive exposure of Planned Parenthood policies was conducted a few years ago by Life Dynamics in Texas. They contacted Planned Parenthood offices in most states to test the procedures used to treat girls impregnated by older, adult men. Over and over they recorded counselors advising girls to lie about their age or the age of the man they were involved with. (We still have a few copies of this stunning report; call or email if you would like one).

Planned Parenthood is under fire again. Earlier this month a college journalism student posed as a 15-year-old girl impregnated by her 23 year old boyfriend. The student, Lila Rose, secretly videotaped the counseling session and released the shocking results to the public.

In the video, a Planned Parenthood counselor is seen advising the girl to make certain she fills out her paperwork to indicate she is 16 – otherwise a report will have to be filed. The counselor goes on to say, “And I don’t know anything”.

It is more than ironic that the fruit of the feminist movement has been to leave girls virtually unprotected from predators. These supposed advocates for women rights have determined that victimized girls are just so much collateral damage in the war to protect abortion-on-demand. And they have apparently intimidated many elected officials and law enforcement personnel into silence.

After Planned Parenthood was exposed by Lila Rose’s video, did it issue a statement of apology? Did it try and spin its way out by calling for better training of its personnel? No. Rather than offer any expression of regret – the organization’s lawyers threatened to file a brutal lawsuit against the student journalist if she did not get her videotape off the web.

Planned Parenthood’s shameless defiance has been met with only silence from those California officials elected to protect our children. To our knowledge, not a single California law enforcement agent has called for a deeper investigation of Planned Parenthood policies. And don’t bet a nickel that you will anytime soon.

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Posted in Family Matters, Guest Posts, Idaho Pro-Life Issues | No Comments »

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