Idaho’s Constitutional Defense Fund Goes Toward Losing Cases
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A special state fund created to help Idaho navigate state sovereignty conflicts with the federal government has paid out more than $2.1 million over the last two decades, nearly all of it spent on losing legal battles.
The Constitutional Defense Fund hasn't paid for a winning case since 1996, when Idaho reached a settlement with the federal government over nuclear waste storage and cleanup. The next nine cases have all been losers for the state, including three cases defending abortion laws, two lawsuits involving gay rights and two lawsuits over the steps required to get initiatives on the ballot.
Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter says the fund has always been used appropriately to defend the sovereignty of Idaho and Idaho's citizens. The governor has said he intends to ask lawmakers for an additional $1 million to shore up the fund in January.