The legal case between Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden and other members of the Idaho Land Board could be resolved within a week or may be a matter of months, according to an official with the Idaho Supreme Court. Wasden filed paperwork with the Supreme Court Wednesday to block the Land Board’s proposed lease increases on state-owned property on Payette Lake and Priest Lake. Wasden says the lease hikes are too low and illegally favor the leaseholders over the public schools and hospitals that receive money from the leases.
“For this type of a case, there’s no definite timeline,” said Steve Kenyon, the clerk of the Idaho Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. “It’s something that could take a couple weeks and be done, or it could take a couple months.” Kenyon said the next step will be to read over Wasden’s legal arguments, which top more than 1,000 pages. Kenyon said the court could issue a decision based on Wasden’s documents, which could resolve the issue quickly. The court could also ask for a written response from the Land Board for their side of the story, or could hold oral arguments about the dispute over the leases. “The court is going to be meeting in the next couple of days to determine the process they’re going to take with this case,” Kenyon said. The court has scheduled oral arguments for cases through the early summer, though the justices could decide to hear Wasden’s case early.
The attorney general’s case went directly to the Idaho Supreme Court in part because it deals with the state constitution. Kenyon said the state’s top court gets very few cases every year where it makes the first ruling on the facts of a case.
Read IdahoReporter.com’s first story on the Wasden’s case here.
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