From the February 2003 Idaho Observer:

IJAA attacked by Attorney General

HAUSER -- The Idaho Judicial Accountability Act of 2004 (IJAA) has obviously struck a nerve with the Idaho Attorney General's Office. AG Lawrence Wasden has thrown a “first strike” attack with a release to the Associated Press claiming that IJAA is unconstitutional. The attack on the Initiative came even before Wasden returned his required advisory evaluation to the IJAA committee. The AP article claims IJAA is “an attempt to dismantle the state's court system and replace it with one where judges are disciplined or ousted for unpopular rulings.”

IJAA, if passed, would create a Special Grand Jury of citizens who are not attorneys, judges or state officials to review complaints of deliberate violations of Idaho's Constitution or laws, not “unpopular rulings.”

Wasden claims that IJAA is “unconstitutional,” that “nearly every provision....contains elements in direct conflict with well-settled principles of state and federal constitutional law,” and “was prompted by allegations against now-retired 1st District Judge James Michaud...”

Initiative advocate Rose Johnson of Post Falls takes exception to Wasden's comments. “Wasden's claim that IJAA is unconstitutional is an attempt to discredit the initiative. There are no well-settled principles in law that prevent judicial accountability,” she said. “Wasden's comment that the judicial accountability initiative we promoted last year was prompted by the less-than-lawful activities of Judge Michaud that surfaced last summer is simply false. We have been promoting the passage of a judicial accountability initiatve for three years,”Johnson explained.

The IJAA Grand Jury would determine if the laws or Constitutions were intentionally violated by judicial officers. The judicially legislated “doctrine” of “Absolute Immunity” would no longer render judicial officers unaccountable for such intentional violations. The citizens' jury would then send any meritorious cases to a separate civil or criminal trial.

People who want to support the passage of IJAA or find out more about the Initiative can come to the Americans for Constitutional Government potluck on February 20 (see page 3 for details) or call Rose Johnson at 208-773-6274; email:

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