First Arizona, now Idaho wants to ban state court judges from enforcing federal court decisions; state AG indicates bill violates Supremacy Clause

I mentioned earlier this week a plan approved in the Arizona House that, citing the state’s “sovereign authority”, would ban Arizona state courts from being “commandeered” into enforcing federal court rulings. Now it appears Idaho may attempt a similar move, despite a letter from the state’s Attorney General against the bill.

HB 65 of 2017 would provide that the legislature had the power to “invalidate” “federal court or U.S. supreme court decisions” as “not constitutional compared to the original intent of the United States constitution.” If a bill declaring a U.S. Supreme Court or other federal court decisions was enacted by the Idaho legislature, Idaho state judges would be prohibited from enforcing or acknowledging the decision (“Such…court cases shall not be recognized by the State of Idaho and are null and void and of no effect in this state.”)

Moreover, the bill specifically targets the state’s judges to not enforce federal court decisions/cases in subsection 3.

(3) No judge of an Idaho state court shall issue any order to levy or execute on the property of any Idaho citizen to collect any amounts assessed against such citizen for failure to comply with any provision of the laws, regulations or court cases referenced in subsection (1) of this section.

It appears an early draft of HB 65 (called DRMPN482) was submitted to the Idaho Attorney General for his opinion. The AG’s office responded in a letter noting that the bill as drafted likely violated the U.S. Constitution, in particular

Subsection (3) of proposed section 67-515 would directly contradict [the Supremacy Clause] of the United States Constitution by ordering judges not to be bound by the laws and case decisions of the Federal Government

HB 65 has been filed in the House State Affairs committee.

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