Idaho Judge Dismisses ACLU Public Defense Lawsuit
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho judge has dismissed a lawsuit against the state seeking to improve the public defense system in Idaho. Fourth District Judge Samuel Hoagland issued his ruling Thursday.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho sued the state in June contending that state officials have known for years that Idaho's public defense system was broken and prevented defendants from receiving adequate legal representation guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
Though the ACLU has brought similar cases over public defense systems in parts of Michigan, Washington state and other regions, attorneys on the Idaho lawsuit say it's the first such case against an entire state. A spokesman for Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter declined to comment. Idaho is one of just three states that don't provide funding for public defense.