Bill Description: Senate Bill 1080 would require any chamber seeking to intervene in a legal case challenging the constitutionality of an Idaho statute to do so only through the Senate president pro tempore or Speaker of the House, as applicable.
NOTE: Senate Bill 1080 is similar to Senate Bill 1045, introduced earlier this session. It slightly rewords the new language, but the two bills are essentially the same.
Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Examples include restrictions on speech, public assembly, the press, privacy, private property, or firearms. Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?
Currently, Section 67-465, Idaho Code, says, "When a party to an action challenges in state or federal court the constitutionality of an Idaho statute, facially or as applied, challenges an Idaho statute as violating or being preempted by federal law, or otherwise challenges the construction or validity of an Idaho statute, either or both houses of the legislature may intervene in the action as a matter of right by serving a motion upon the parties as provided in state or federal rules of civil procedure, whichever is applicable."
Senate Bill 1080 would amend this section to say that "the legislature may intervene, through the senate president pro tempore or the speaker of the house of representatives, or both, in the action as a matter of right by filing a motion in the court as provided in state or federal rules of civil procedure. ..."
Instead of saying "either or both houses of the legislature may intervene," this new language requires a legislative chamber to take action only through a single member of leadership, and it does not clarify a process whereby other members of the body could initiate such action. Moreover, it is unclear what level of discretion the president pro tempore or Speaker would have in deciding whether to take action.