[Vision2020] Idaho's House of Representatives votes to end Coronavirus Emergency effective immediately

Ron Force ronforce at gmail.com
Tue Aug 25 16:04:41 PDT 2020

AG's analysis: HCR 1 illegal, wouldn't stand up in court

   - Posted by Betsy <https://www.idahopress.com/users/profile/brussell>
   - 1 hr ago

   In response to a request from Senate President Pro-Tem Brent Hill, the
   Idaho Attorney General's office has completed an analysis of the legality
   of HCR 1, the concurrent resolution the House passed this morning aimed at
   ending the current state of emergency in Idaho due to the COVID-19
   pandemic, and concluded that the measure "would carry no legal effect and
   likely be the subject of a successful legal challenge to its validity."

That's because the Idaho Constitution, in Article IV, Section 9, permits
only the governor to call a special session of the Legislature and to
determine the subject matter for the session; special sessions have no
power to legislate on any other subjects.
Gov. Brad Little issued his proclamation on Aug. 19, enumerating the
subjects and attaching three proposed bills, two on election rules for
November and one on civil liability. "No reference is made to calling the
Legislature into session to address whether the declaration of emergency
itself should continue," Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane
wrote in the analysis, which I obtained through a public records request.

Rep. Steven Harris, R-Meridian, based HCR 1 on an existing law, Idaho Code
46-1008, that says, "The legislature by concurrent resolution may terminate
a state of disaster emergency at any time." But Kane found that the
Constitution specifies when the Legislature may be in session. "Thus, this
provision is likely only operable when the Legislature is in its regular
session, or when the Governor has identified an emergency proclamation as
the subject of an extra session."

Kane noted, "If the state Constitution and a statute conflict, the state
constitutional provision prevails."

If the House and Senate both were to pass HCR 1, Kane wrote, "It will
likely be the subject of a successful legal challenge."

The Senate hasn't taken any action as yet, since the House passed the
measure. Senate Republicans were in caucus this morning, and went back into
another closed-door caucus meeting at 3 p.m.

Senate Democrats caucused earlier, said Minority Leader Michelle Stennett,
D-Ketchum. Stennett, when asked about HCR 1, said, "I usually do my work
based on three things: Is it constitutional, is it enforceable, and how
does it improve the lives of the Idahoans we represent? And I personally
think it doesn't meet the first criteria."

When the Legislature passes unconstitutional legislation, she said, "In
court it will cost taxpayers a lot of money. It's not legal."

*Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for
the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at

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Ron Force
Moscow Idaho USA

On Tue, Aug 25, 2020 at 3:13 PM Tom Hansen <thansen at moscow.com> wrote:

> Point well made and taken, Ken.
> At a bare minimum we should stay with face masks and distance.
> Seeya 'round town, Moscow, because . . .
> "Moscow Cares" (the most fun you can have with your pants on)
> http://www.TomandRodna.com/MoscowCares <http://www.moscowcares.com/>
> Tom Hansen
> Moscow, Idaho
> On Aug 25, 2020, at 2:55 PM, Kenneth Marcy <kmmos1 at frontier.com> wrote:
> On 8/25/20 2:17 PM, Tom Hansen wrote:
> Courtesy of *KHQ-6* at:
> https://www.khq.com/news/idahos-house-of-representatives-votes-to-end-coronavirus-emergency-effective-immediately/article_a530255a-e713-11ea-8410-6f4b42473352.html
> ———————————————
> Idaho's House of Representatives votes to end Coronavirus Emergency
> effective immediately
> BOISE, Idaho - Today lawmakers in Idaho's House voted to advance a
> resolution that ends Idaho Governor Brad Little's Coronavirus Emergency
> Declaration.
> The resolution
> <https://legislature.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/sessioninfo/2020spcl/legislation/HCR001.pdf> effectively
> lifts all restrictions across the state. Lawmakers voted and passed the
> resolution 48-20 amid a special session that the Governor called to deal
> with liability laws and mail-in voting concerns.
> The resolution now heads to the Senate and if it passes the Governor's
> Emergency declaration, that he put in place back in March, is over.
> This appears to be news of a dangerous possibility.  If the resolution
> passes in the Senate, thus ending the emergency declaration, and if local
> University students start behaving as if coronavirus does not exist, e.g.,
> going maskless, meeting in many and various groups with no attendance
> recording, and therefore with no possibility for contact tracing, there
> appears to be a strong possibility that COVID-19 cases will increase
> chaotically, exponentially, and, of course, deadly.
> One is reminded of the Hermione Granger quote in the first Harry Potter
> book, Sorcerer's Stone, where she comments to Harry and Ron after one of
> their early adventures: "Now, if you two don't mind, I'm going to bed
> before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed. Or
> worse, expelled."
> The idea of mass expulsions, or chaos forfend, of the closure of the
> entire University for some period of time, is not beyond horrific
> imagination.  (Well, maybe not the imagination of an economist or a horror
> novelist.  Take your pick.)
> Ken
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