From the February 2001 Idaho Observer:

Idaho J.A.I.L. initiative needs public pressure for passage

Landmark initiative already being amended, weakened by legislators

by Rose Johnson

The Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L.), originally drafted by Ron Branson of J.A.I.L for Judges last year, has been amended to be introduced into the legislatures of 22 states. Largely due to the efforts of Idaho's J.A.I.L. chapter Director Rose Johnson of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho is one of those states. The initiative intends to return judges to their proper place in court proceedings and provide real remedies to judges who abuse their authority and pervert justice in our courts.

The J.A.I.L. initiative has been intorduced into the legislative process in Idaho and is being sponsored by State Senator Clyde Boatright (R-Rathdrum).

District 3 Representative Chris Ellis is sponsoring the initiative in the House. Rep. Jim Clark has withdrawn his support of J.A.I.L. He can be contacted at: (208) 772-5992.

Though we are pleased that we were able to get the J.A.I.L. initiative thrown into the ring in such short order, we are already beginning to see how much parliamentary opposition the proposed law will face as it goes through the legislative process. J.A.I.L. is simply designed to make judges accountable to the laws of the land and their time-honored canons of conduct.

The original text of J.A.I.L. was published in the July, 2000 edition of The Idaho Observer and can be found at: Since the initiative was given to Senator Boatright, who then gave it to his bill drafter Caralee Lambert, it has undergone revisions that have weakened it. Lambert explains that the revisions were necessary to insure passage of the initiative without having to amend the Constitution.

The amended version fails to address several issues that are critical to the issue of judicial anarchy (The Idaho Observer, December 2000, January 2001).

Similar legislation was drafted in 1995 by the late Dal Ferry of Tigard, Oregon, for consideration in his state's legislature in. Ferry's bill intended to amend the state Constitution to create the Oregon Judicial Council, a body of lay persons who would be charged with licensing judges and attorneys. The council would also be empowered to punish judges and attorneys who abused their positions to thwart the judicial process for any reason.

The bill was met with tremendous oppostion from the state Bar which was able to pressure legislators to ignore the needs of the people in exchange for political favors from those who have the most to lose if justice were to ever return to the courtroom.

There can be no argument against claims that most, if not all of the problems we face in our country today are enabled by the failure of the judiciary to follow the rule of law and oversee judicial proceedings in a fair and impartial manner. Likewise, the ills that have gripped our country would be remedied if the rule of law and justice, not graft, corruption and political expediency, were once again the most important function of the court.

For those who have concerns about the future of our country, J.A.I.L. for judges is the answer (

Get a copy of the original J.A.I.L. initiative from The Idaho Observer. You can obtain a copy of the amended version by contacting your senator or representative at the number and/or address provided at the end of this article.

If you have a story of judicial anarchy and wish to share it with your legislator or wish to testify before the committe, tell your legislator or contact me at: (208) 773-6274. I am also available to answer any other questions you may have about this initiative.

Your legislators can be contacted by calling toll free: 1-800-626-0471, or by writing them at:

Idaho State Legislature
Idaho State Capitol Building
PO Box 83720
Boise, Idaho 83720

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