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Idaho Ballot Initiative Lawsuit Continues Despite Campaign Calling It "Moot"


Oral arguments are still scheduled Thursday before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in a case involving an Idaho ballot initiative to boost education funding, despite the campaign saying there’s no point.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked a lower court’s ruling allowing Reclaim Idaho to collect petition signatures online.

But the high court didn’t just block the ruling while the 9th Circuit considered the case – Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that the ban would remain in effect until any potential Supreme Court appeal.

That would effectively run out the clock for the initiative to get on the ballot before the November election.

“Given the sweeping scope of the stay imposed, Reclaim Idaho’s claims are doomed to mootness before this appellate court has been given the chance to consider their merits,” the group wrote in a court filing Monday.

Reclaim Idaho filed the lawsuit against the state this spring after it was forced to shut down its campaign due to the pandemic and Gov. Brad Little’s stay-at-home order.

The state argued that the group could’ve gathered signatures last year, instead of waiting until the final deadline to hand them in. A federal district court judge disagreed and allowed Reclaim to collect signatures online until the Supreme Court weighed in.

While the group says it’s disappointed in the decision, it plans to continue fighting to increase education funding in Idaho.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

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I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season. If you have a tip, please get in touch!