Sunday, April 21, 2024

Wasden found guilty of doing his job

| December 20, 2020 1:00 AM

If you wanted an attorney general who prescribed blindly to political ideologies, who put friendships above duty, who risked being cold-shouldered by members of his faith, you made a mistake when you elected Lawrence Wasden as Idaho's attorney general in 2002.

And 2006.

And 2010.

And 2014.

And 2018.

Seeing as how Wasden keeps getting re-elected, a majority of Idaho voters made no such mistake. Yet the sabre-rattling and stone-throwing from Wasden critics reached another crescendo lately, when the AG courageously — and legally — refused to join the Texas lawsuit on behalf of President Trump.

The lawsuit was unanimously tossed out by the U.S. Supreme Court who, you might remember, count one third of their members as Trump appointees.

Anybody who knows Wasden and has followed his career could have predicted he'd fly in the face of the Idaho-popular but ridiculously unconstitutional attempt by one state to have election results from other states invalidated.

Case in point: Mere days after starting his job as AG in 2003, Wasden prosecuted fellow Republican, fellow member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and good friend Brent Coles, the mayor of Boise. Coles was caught misusing public funds and was found guilty of corruption. Wasden, fresh on the job, sent his friend to jail.

We have seen numerous instances over the years of Wasden following the law at great personal and political peril. Wasden, who abhors gambling, stood by Idaho law when certain factions and special interest groups attempted to invalidate tribal gaming.

Three years ago, Wasden advised the state that passage of an ag-gag law — outlawing undercover investigations that could prove instances of animal cruelty — would be unconstitutional. At significant expense to Idaho taxpayers, the state lost its case in a federal court and Wasden was proved right.

In the session last February, a deeply flawed bill targeting transgender athletes was passed and signed into law by Gov. Brad Little. Wasden's office had warned that the measure was unconstitutional, and sure enough, a federal judge agreed, placing a temporary injunction on the law and stating that it is not likely to hold up under constitutional scrutiny.

Lawrence Wasden has built a reputation for putting the law above personal and political interests — and, yes, even friendships. Alleged Idaho patriots who claim to stand for the Constitution by taking swipes at Wasden are swinging blindly at the wrong guy.