Biden Admin Looks to Move Proposed Wind Farm Away from WW2 Memorial After Local Backlash

Minidoka National Historic Site

The Biden administration is looking to shrink and move a proposed onshore wind project in Idaho after receiving considerable pushback from local residents, according to The Associated Press.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently published its final environmental review for Idaho’s Lava Ridge wind project, specifying its preference to see the project scaled down by nearly 50 percent and moved several more miles away from a World War II memorial dedicated to interned Japanese-Americans in the area, according to the AP. The project has drawn intense opposition from locals, in large part because of concern that its presence would undermine the experience for those visiting the memorial site, known as the Minidoka National Historic Site.

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Commentary: Rural Oregon Counties Want to Join Idaho

Greater Idaho

The Greater Idaho movement might be the most tangible and effective political rebellion taking place today in America.

You’ll find no anarchists in its ranks, however. This movement is led by humble rural conservatives and has gained breathtaking traction through little more than grassroots activism and democratic participation.

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Wildlife Groups Threaten Feds with Lawsuit over Wolf Protections

Gray Wolfs

by Chris Woodward   A coalition of animal welfare and wildlife advocacy groups plans to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over gray wolf protections, pointing to the killing of a wolf in Wyoming as an example of why the species needs more protection. In 2021,…

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SCOTUS Shocked by Biden Administration’s View of Federal Power over States in ER Abortion Challenge

Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar

To convince the Supreme Court that the Biden administration could use federal Medicare funding to force hospitals to perform abortions in violation of Idaho law, Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar conceived and gave birth to some unusual arguments Wednesday.

She reached for a 129-year-old precedent that crippled the labor movement for decades, neutered legal obligations to the “unborn child” in the federal law that allegedly requires abortions in certain situations, and didn’t deny a Republican administration could use her rationale to functionally ban abortion and even transgender care nationwide.

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Commentary: FBI Refuses to Acknowledge Link Between Islam and Terrorism in Idaho Case

Alexander Scott Mercurio

In a case that has gotten almost no establishment media attention the FBI has arrested Alexander Scott Mercurio, 18, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, for attempting to provide material support and resources to ISIS in connection with a plot to conduct a suicide attack on a church.

After the arrest the Department of Justice issued a news release saying in part:

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Idaho Teen Planned to Attack Churches in Support of ISIS over Ramadan: Affidavit

Alexander Scott Mercurio

An Idaho teenager allegedly planned to attack churches during Ramadan after pledging his support for the Islamic State, according to an affidavit from the Justice Department.

Alexander Scott Mercurio, 18, of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, was arrested over the weekend and charged with attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization, officials announced late Monday.

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Liberal Dark Money Pushes Ranked-Choice Voting as Campaign Gains Momentum Across U.S.

As ranked-choice voting gains momentum across the U.S., the campaign supporting the system is funded by a few liberal dark money groups run by mega-donors who seek to replace the influence of political parties with their own, according to Honest Election Project Action, (HEPA) an election integrity advocate.

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Idaho Gov Signs Bill Prohibiting Taxpayer Funding for Sex-Change Surgeries

Gov. Brad Little in front of Idaho State Capitol building (composite image)

Republican Gov. Brad Little of Idaho signed a bill Wednesday banning the state from using public funding to cover sex-change procedures.

House Bill 668 was introduced in February by Republican Reps. Julianne Young and Bruce Skaug and bars the state from using Medicaid funds to pay for sex-change surgeries or cross-sex hormones, according to the text. The legislation passed the state House of Representatives 58 to 11 and the state Senate 26 to 8, with one abstaining, in March before Little signed the legislation into law, the state legislature website shows.

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Idaho Governor Signs Bill Protecting Parental Rights in Medical Decisions

Brad Little

Republican Gov. Brad Little of Idaho signed a bill Thursday increasing protections for parents when making medical decisions for their children.

The bill passed the state Senate with a 27 to 7 vote, with one abstaining, in February and the state House of Representatives in a 59 to 11 vote in March. The new law, which will take effect on July 1, amends the current Idaho code to protect parents’ ability to obtain medical records for their children and requires healthcare professionals to obtain parental consent before administering treatment to their minor child, or face civil penalties.

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Ranked-Choice Voting Proves to Be Lightning Rod Issue in Several States

Bills to ban ranked-choice voting are causing passionate debate over a method to cast ballots that some say is fairer and some say is confusing and could lower voter turnout.

Ranked-choice voting allows people to rank the candidates, with “one” being their favorite. The votes are tallied in rounds. After the first round, the candidate with the lowest votes is eliminated. The voter’s second preference is then added to the tally. The process continues until a winner is determined.

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Idaho Asks Supreme Court to Stop Federal Government from Using ERs as ‘Enclave’ for Abortions

Idaho is asking the Supreme Court to intervene and allow the state to enforce its pro-life law despite the Biden Administration’s efforts to block it by allowing abortions in emergency rooms, according to court documents.

The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act is meant to ensure that all patients who request emergency room treatment are examined, but Idaho argued in its court filing Monday that the law turns “protection for the uninsured into a federal super-statute on the issue of abortion, one that strips Idaho of its sovereign interest in protecting innocent human life and turns emergency rooms into a federal enclave where state standards of care do not apply.”

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Report: Mountain States Among ‘Most Free’ in North America

Mountain states rank among the “most free” in North America, according to a new report from the Fraser Institute.

The Canadian think tank employs 10 variables for its Economic Freedom of North America 2023 reports and scores states based on categories such as government spending, taxes, labor market freedom, legal system and property rights, sound money, and freedom to trade internationally.

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Appeals Court Reverses Previous Ruling That Halted Idaho’s Abortion Ban

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overruled a lower court decision to block Idaho’s abortion ban Thursday, according to court documents.

U.S. District Court Judge for the District of Idaho B. Lynn Winmill, who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton, ruled in August that the law could stop doctors from referring patients to abortion clinics in other states in an emergency due to fear of prosecution. A panel of judges appointed by former President Donald Trump, however, determined that the state’s case to uphold the ban was likely to succeed and that for the time being “public interest is best served by preserving the force and effect of a duly enacted Idaho law,” according to court documents.

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Federal Judge Halts Idaho Law Banning Boys from Girls’ Bathrooms

A federal judge decided Thursday to temporarily block enforcement of an Idaho law meant to bar biological males from using female restrooms.

Senate Bill 1100, which was signed by Republican Idaho Gov. Brad Little, went into effect July 1 and required schools to have two separate bathrooms, one for each biological sex, and allowed students to sue the school for up to $5,000 for each transgender person who is found to be using a bathroom that does not match their biological sex, according to the law. Lambda Legal, an LGBTQ legal activist group, sued to block the law on July 7, arguing the law violates the premise of the Equal Protection Clause and will cause harm to transgender persons, according to the lawsuit.

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College Profs Sue over State Abortion Law, Argue It Criminalizes Classroom Discussion

Idaho professors and teachers unions are alleging that a state law violates their First Amendment rights by preventing them from teaching pro-abortion viewpoints, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the ACLU.

Idaho passed the No Public Funds for Abortion Act in 2021, which prohibits state contracts with abortion providers and bans public employees from promoting abortion, according to Idaho’s legislative website. Public employees who violate the law can be charged with a felony and fired, and professors argue the law has forced them to alter their course modules by taking out entire sections related to abortion due to fear of repercussions, according to the lawsuit.

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Biden Admin Uses Ukraine Aid Funds to Scope Out Cobalt Mining in Idaho

The Biden administration has begun using funds from a $40 billion Ukraine aid package Congress passed in 2022 to rebuild American manufacturing capacity and restock weapons and scope out critical mineral mining possibilities in Idaho, according to Defense News.

Pentagon planners hope the contracts awarded through Defense Production Act (DPA) authority will help break the U.S. industrial base’s dependence on China and Russia for critical minerals and expand production capabilities, the outlet reported. The Department of Defense (DOD) handed out the first contract from the $600 million fund Congress included the May 2022 package set aside for arming Ukraine in April, and in June used the funds to authorize cobalt exploration in Idaho.

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Nearly Half of U.S. States Now Have Measures Limiting Transgender Surgery for Minors, but Lawsuits Abound

At least 20 states have either restricted or banned transgender procedures for minors, with many of them facing lawsuits and temporary blocks by courts as a result, while future litigation is possible in states considering adopting such laws. 

The states that have enacted legislation against such procedures are: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia – essentially all conservative-leaning.

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Idaho Governor Signed Bill Banning ‘Abortion Trafficking,’ First of Its Kind

Republican Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed a first-of-its-kind law banning “abortion trafficking” Wednesday, according to the legislation.

The new law, formerly House Bill 242, defines “abortion trafficking” as any adult with the intent “to conceal an abortion from the parents or guardian of a pregnant, unemancipated minor” or obtains “an abortion-inducing drug for the pregnant minor to use for an abortion by recruiting, harboring, or transporting the pregnant minor within this state,” according to the bill. The bill also allows the parents of the minor to sue anyone found guilty of providing an abortion to the child and whoever is found guilty faces from two to five years in prison. 

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North Carolina, North Dakota, Among States Phasing Out Income Tax

Americans in search of economic freedom and opportunity are flocking to Florida, Tennessee and Texas, and at least part of the attraction is that these three states, along with six others (Alaska, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, Wyoming and New Hampshire), don’t levy an income tax.

Other states may soon follow.

“There are 10 states that are in the process of moving their personal income tax to zero,” President of Americans for Tax Reform Grover Norquist said on the John Solomon Reports podcast.

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Tennessee, Georgia, and Virginia Among 18 States Banning Social Media App TikTok from State Devices

Following South Dakota GOP Gov. Kristi Noem’s lead, nearly half of U.S. states have put restrictions on or banned the use of Chinese-based social media app TikTok.

At least 19 states have banned TikTok on government-issued devices – Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utha, Virginia and West Virginia.

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Wisconsin Set to Receive Part of a Nearly $400 Million Settlement from Google over Location-Tracking Probe

Google agreed to a $391.5 million settlement with 40 states after an investigation found that the tech giant participated in questionable location-tracking practices, state attorneys general announced Monday.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong called it a “historic win for consumers.”

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Idaho Pride Group Postpones Children’s Drag Show over Safety Concerns

The Boise Pride Fest will cancel a drag show featuring children over safety concerns.

“While the vast majority of our sponsors and supporters have voiced their support for the Boise Pride Festival and the Drag Kids program, we have made the very difficult decision to postpone this performance due to increased safety concerns,” the group stated, according to Idaho News. “The health and well-being of the kids, their parents, and the attendees of the Festival are our priority.”

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Multiple Major Corporations Sponsor Child Drag Events

An upcoming drag event in Boise, Idaho that will be targeting young children has received the sponsorship of numerous major corporations, including Target, Wells Fargo, CitiBank, and Hewlett-Packard.

As reported by Breitbart, the Boise Pride Festival will feature an additional event titled “Drag Kids on Stage.” Marketing itself as “a drag show like none other,” the event description says that children as young as 11 will be on-stage.

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Federal Judge Questions Idaho Abortion Ban in Lawsuit Brought by Biden Administration: Updated

UPDATE: Late Wednesday, Judge Lynn Winmill granted the Biden Department of Justice’s request for an injunction on Idaho’s abortion ban as it pertains to medical emergencies.

“The Court hereby restrains and enjoins the State of Idaho, including all of its officers, employees, and agents, from enforcing Idaho Code § 18-622(2)-(3) as applied to medical care required by the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA),” Winmill wrote, adding the state is prohibited “from initiating any criminal prosecution against, attempting to suspend or revoke the professional license of, or seeking to impose any other form of liability on, any medical provider or hospital based on their performance of conduct that (1) is defined as an “abortion” under Idaho Code § 18-604(1), but that is necessary to avoid (i) “placing the health of” a pregnant patient “in serious jeopardy”; (ii) a “serious impairment to bodily functions” of the pregnant patient; or (iii) a “serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part” of the pregnant patient.”

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South Carolina Supreme Court Temporarily Halts Heartbeat Law

The South Carolina Supreme Court has temporarily blocked continued enforcement of the state’s Heartbeat law, which bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The court’s order Wednesday grants abortion providers an emergency motion that will halt enforcement of the law which has been in effect since June 27, several days after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

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Three More States Are Poised to Ban Abortion Amid Court Battles

Idaho, Tennessee and Texas are moving to enact “trigger bans” restricting abortions after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade June 24, ending the precedent which had banned states from restricting abortion throughout the first six months of pregnancy.

The bans in these three states will take effect 30 days after the Supreme Court officially transmitted its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Association July 26, according to The Hill. Another 10 states had trigger bans go into effect after elected officials enacted them, and trigger abortion bans went into effect immediately after the court overturned Roe in three other states.

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Satanic Temple Pulls Out of ‘Kid Friendly’ LGBQT Pride Event in Idaho After Backlash

The Satanic Temple was included on a list of participants of a “kid friendly” LGBTQ+ “Pride in the Park” event in Idaho—which includes a “drag dance party”—until Libs of Tik Tok publicized their involvement on Twitter.

A member of the Satanic group claimed to have pulled out of the Saturday event after several sponsors apparently dropped out due to their participation.

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21 States Join Lawsuit to End Federal Mask Mandate on Airplanes, Public Transportation

Twenty-one states have filed a lawsuit challenging the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s continued mask mandate on public transportation, including on airplanes.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Attorney General Ashley Moody are leading the effort. Moody filed the suit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida along with 20 other attorneys general. DeSantis said the mask mandate was misguided and heavy-handed.

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Sixteen States File New Lawsuit Against Federal COVID Vaccination Mandate

Sixteen states again are challenging a federal COVID-19 vaccination mandate for health care workers who work at facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funding.

Friday’s filing in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana comes after the issuance of final guidance on the mandate from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS), arguing the guidance is an action that is reviewable.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled by 5-4 vote Jan. 13 against the original Louisiana challenge to the mandate and a similar Missouri filing.

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College Instructor Charged with Battery of Anti-Mask Mandate Demonstrator

A North Idaho College instructor has been charged with Misdemeanor Battery for allegedly assaulting a person holding a sign in support of the college’s Board of Trustees decision to repeal the university-wide mask mandate.

Rachelle Ottosen stood at the September North Idaho College Board of Trustees meeting holding a sign picturing a red circle with the words “Medical Fascism” inside and a slash through it. Ottosen told Campus Reform that she brought the sign to show her support for the Board’s August decision to repeal its mask mandate.

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