The following is a lay opinion from the GUARDIAN.
Idaho House Speaker Lawrence Denney’s decision to file legal action in the Idaho Supreme Court against Secretary of State Ben Ysursa will probably lead to political and personal humiliation.
The speaker has overstepped his bounds in an effort to rid the redistricting commission of a member he deemed not loyal enough to Republican interests.
Denney and his lawyer, Christ T. Troupis have made a fundamental legal blunder–failure to consider the SEPARATION OF POWERS doctrine. Our system of government has LEGISLATIVE, EXECUTIVE, and JUDICIAL branches to create a “balance of power.”
Denney thinks he has appointed Dolores Crow to the reapportionment commission. He has not. He “nominated or designated” her, but the authority to convene the commission clearly lies with the Secretary of State. Same holds true for Republican party boss Norm Semanko. He suggested Randy Hansen be a member of the panel, but Semanko is without authority to appoint anyone.
The law requires the commission to file its report with the Secretary, not the legislature. In short it is his duty, not that of the legislative branch or a political party hack who has no official capacity in ANY government branch.
Since Denney and crew wrongly claim the authority to “appoint,” they certainly would have no authority to “dismiss” any members.
The law also prohibits any member from running for office for 5 years after serving. Lobbyists, and former legislators within two years of holding office are also banned from serving.
It would be counter intuitive to give a sitting politician the authority APPOINT or DISMISS any member to a redistricting panel. They can “suggest” but the authority to actually appoint members lies with the Secretary of State. Based on the opinion of the Attorney General, no one can fire or dismiss members–there is no provision in the law to do so.
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