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State panel deletes video record of Supreme Court candidate interviews 

State panel deletes video record of Supreme Court candidate interviews 

Wayne Hoffman
October 23, 2023

One more note on the Idaho Judicial Council: Having watched a few of the interviews conducted Wednesday with some of the candidates for the Idaho Supreme Court, I'd say the council is more concerned with how prospective justices would protect the court's image than with their legal philosophy. 

For example, no one is really asking "Are you a Ruth Bader Ginsburg or an Antonin Scalia?" Instead we get, "What's the hardest case you've been involved in?" This line of questioning explains how the court has turned so left of center over the years. It's like they're auditioning to join a fraternity or sorority. I'm surprised the council doesn't ask wannabe justices to name their favorite Taylor Swift song or describe their perfect date. 

More striking is that the council deleted from YouTube all the videos of its candidate interviews within hours of live streaming them. I got in just in time to see the afternoon's candidates, but I missed the morning interview with former Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who will probably get the job. His interview from 9 a.m. was gone forever by 4 p.m. 

That's what passes for transparent government in Idaho: While you can watch hours and hours of Clarence Thomas' Senate Judiciary Committee hearing from more than 30 years ago, you couldn't do the same for interviews conducted only a few hours ago with candidates for Idaho's highest court. 

For a judiciary so concerned with its polished reputation, that's probably for the best. The council spent about 30 minutes interviewing each candidate. I've spent more time interviewing interns to work in my office than the Judicial Council spent on candidates wanting to be an Idaho Supreme Court justice. Coupled with pathetic questions and inadequate time, it's probably pretty embarrassing for the council to keep those videos around for long. 

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