Among many other civil liberty issues, our legislative work includes criminal legal reform, reproductive rights, LGBTQIA+ equality, immigrant rights, disability rights, privacy, religious freedom, and free speech.

Reproductive Freedom

SB 1234 - Six Months Supply of Birth Control
The ACLU of Idaho SUPPORTS SB 1234
Status: On governor's desk for signing into law

SB 1234 would allow prescriptions for contraceptives for up to six months at a time, instead of forcing people to renew every month.

The ACLU supports this legislation as it removes barriers to contraception for Idahoans to make the best health care choices for themselves and their families without undue political interference. Any sexually active individual should have full access to birth control, which is also used to treat a variety of medical ailments such as PCOS, endometriosis, and more. Allowing up to six months at a time allows for people who go on military deployment to not have to arrange prescription refills every month while out of the country, allows people in rural parts of Idaho or who dan't have reliable transportation to access contraceptives more easily, and makes it less likely for people to lapse in their use of birth control because they didn't refill in time. Meaningful access to contraception is foundational to autonomy, reproductive freedom, and equality.

HB 400 - Removing "fetus" from Idaho Statute 
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 400 

Status: Passed House and referred to Senate State Affairs

Formerly HB 381, House Bill 400 would replace the medical term"fetus" with the political term "preborn child" in Idaho code.

The ACLU of Idaho opposes HB 400 for two primary reasons: First, the bill introduces inconsistencies in Idaho Code by replacing the term "fetus" with "preborn child" in various statutes without doing the same for the term "embryo," resulting in regulatory confusion for entities at the same developmental stage. Secondly, the replacement of the clear and scientifically recognized term "fetus" with the vague "preborn child" violates the requirement to use plain language in legislation. Abandoning science -- in favor of laws based on moral and religious grounds -- is reckless lawmaking.

HB 381 - Fetal Personhood 
UPDATE: This legislation was replaced by HB 400

HB 381 intends to replace words such as "fetus" and "embryo" with "preborn child" in Idaho code. If passed, this vague legislation could place Idaho's health care providers and pregnant people at risk of arbitrary prosecution. The bill could have life-altering consequences: It may force Idahoans to carry out a pregnancy against their will or force providers to deny essential health care.  


HB 668 -Ban on Public Funds for Gender-Affirming Care*
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 668
*Formerly HB 520
Status: Passed Senate State Affairs, headed to Senate floor

The ACLU of Idaho strongly opposes HB 668, a bill targeting transgender individuals that threatens their access to necessary health care. The bill restricts government funding for transgender adults and adolescents, including banning Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming medical treatment. This violates both the constitutional rights of transgender individuals and multiple federal laws.  

HB 668 also carries devastating social consequences, depriving transgender people of essential healthcare and worsening mental health outcomes. The ACLU urges opposition to this measure to protect the rights and well-being of the transgender community in Idaho. 

HB 538 - Forced pronouns, forced deadnaming
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 538
Status: Uncertain -- in and out of third reading calendar for House floor

Trans youth are once again under attack in state legislature HB 538 i would require schools to out trans students against their will, regardless of any harmful consequences at school or at home. These forced outing bills claim to protect parents’ rights, but they do no such thing. Instead, these bills endanger trans students, who have the right not to be outed and to be treated with dignity and respect at school. 

HB 538 raises concerns about parental rights in Idaho, particularly regarding transgender students. The bill could undermine parental authority by allowing school officials to disregard parents' instructions on addressing their children's pronouns, despite weak provisions like parental "permission slips." This departure from equal application of parental rights creates barriers for certain parents, limiting their access to these fundamental rights. While it's crucial for the government to respect parental decisions for their children's well-being, it's also important for transgender kids, like all kids, to feel safe at school. 

HB 421 - Erasing Gender Definitions
ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 421

Status: Passed House and referred to Senate State Affairs

ACLU national and ACLU of Idaho affirm that individuals who identify as transgender, intersex, and non-binary have an inherent right to exist and belong.  

HB 421 rewrites the legal definitions of male, female, mother, father, sex, and gender and changes all existing Idaho statutes, rules and policies that reference the words to the new definitions. HB 421 provides highly restrictive definitions for the terms "sex" and "gender" in Idaho code, equating them solely with an elementary definition of "biological sex."  By changing these definitions, Idaho statute will erase gender identity, an internal sense of gender, experienced gender, gender expression, and gender role. This narrow definition conflicts with binding interpretations of federal protections under the U.S. Constitution, Title IX, and Title VII. 

Additionally, the bill mandates the inclusion of every individuals’ “sex at birth” on birth certificates, which further muddles accurate documentation for trans and non-binary people. It applies these restrictive definitions across all laws, rules and policies of the state of Idaho. This bill wants to legally redefine "sex" in a way that intends to erase transgender, nonbinary, intersex, and other gender non-conforming people from Idaho code.

Read the ACLU of Idaho one-pager regarding HB 421

HB 1352 - Counseling/Therapy Discrimination based on Religious Beliefs
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 1352
Status: Passed Senate, referred to House Health & Welfare

Senate Bill 1352, would allow health workers to refuse treatment to LGBTQ+ patients based on religious or moral objections.  

The legislation pits religious freedom against protections against discrimination, placing the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals at risk. Discrimination based on sex triggers the compelling interest standard, and SB 1352 enables broad discrimination against LGBTQ+ individuals. 

Anti-discrimination laws serve to provide equal access to societal goods and protect individuals from the indignity of discrimination. Religious freedom does not justify discrimination. Allowing healthcare providers to discriminate based on religious beliefs undermines medical standards and denies essential healthcare services to vulnerable individuals. SB 1352 may face legal challenges due to its discriminatory nature, and its passage could have severe consequences for healthcare access and the well-being of LGBTQ+ individuals in Idaho. 

HB 419  - Medicaid Eligibility
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 419

Status: Assigned bill number

HB 419 proposes several changes to Medicaid eligibility. It introduces a cap on Medicaid expansion participants at 50,000 people and a 36-month lifetime limit for the program and denies Medicaid coverage for certain gender-related medical procedures for individuals over 18 years old. 

The ACLU of Idaho opposes HB 419 because it could unfairly impact people seeking Medicaid assistance for gender-related medical care. This bill might violate the U.S. Constitution's rule about treating everyone equally. It singles out certain medical procedures, like those related to gender identity, and states that Medicaid won't cover those procedures for some people. The bill's proposed enrollment cap and lifetime benefit limit are criticized for jeopardizing Medicaid access for vulnerable populations (including those with disabilities) and are viewed as unapprovable changes to the State Plan, risking federal Medicaid funding for all Idahoans. We believe that everyone — transgender, intersex, and nonbinary individuals included — has the right to receive appropriate medical care, including Medicaid-funded gender-affirming care.

HB 384 - Library Censorship

HB 384 would allow the Idaho state legislature to ban certain content from public schools and libraries. It would also allow library patrons to bring lawsuits against libraries for having so-called obscene materials on hand. HB 384 includes harmful language that mischaracterizes homosexuality as inherently sexual, and thus further marginalizes LGBTQIA+ Idahoans. For decades, US courts and policy have made clear that the government has no business banning books simply because it disagrees with certain content. HB 384, like other recent library censorship bills, is part of a coordinated attack on the rights of students and every Idahoan to read and learn without government interference. We know HB 384, like other censorship bills, is aimed at banning LGBTQIA+ supportive content -- NOT protecting the public.   



Criminal Justice

HB 695 - Mandatory Minimum for Marijuana*
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 695
*Replaces HB 606
Status: Assigned bill number

This bill would add an additional, mandatory fine for possession of a small amount of marijuana – a misdemeanor for 3 ounces or less. The mandatory fine would be no less than $420.  

The mandatory additional penalty eliminates judicial discretion in determining penalties, potentially leading to unjust consequences for minor, nonviolent, and victimless low-level drug offenses. This undermines the crucial role of judicial discretion, which is fundamental to the fair and proper functioning of a democratic system because it shifts power away from judges and towards prosecutors, increasing the likelihood of unjust penalties for Idaho residents. 

This bill would also worsen the already detrimental effects of targeted enforcement of drug possession laws in Idaho. The bill's provisions could lead to increased barriers for individuals in accessing employment, secure housing, and public benefits, particularly affecting those with low incomes. The negative consequences are expected to disproportionately impact Black, Brown, and other communities of color in Idaho, as marijuana-related offenses contribute significantly to racially unequal drug-related punishment, resulting in higher rates of arrests, prosecution, and incarceration for these communities despite similar rates of drug use. The bill exacerbates social inequalities and perpetuates racial disparities in the criminal justice system. 

HB 406 - Fentanyl Mandatory Minimum
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 406
Status: Passed into law

Despite repeated calls to eliminate mandatory minimums and address the need to adjust overly harsh and retributive punishments related to drug offenses, HB 406, adds new mandatory sentences related to fentanyl possession and it would create a new felony called "drug-induced homicide" for any person that supplied a drug that caused a fatal overdose. While we acknowledge the profound impact of fentanyl on Idaho families, HB 406's singular focus on incarceration with escalating sentences erases the important roles of prosecutors and judges and places more power in the hands of arresting officers.

HB 406 is not cost-effective, has the potential to increase incarceration costs, and does not deter drug use. We are also deeply concerned about the disproportionate impact on Idaho's Black and Brown communities. The ACLU of Idaho urges the rejection of HB 406, as it does not offer a viable solution for the state's drug control objectives. 

Read ACLU of Idaho Testimony in opposition to HB 406

HB 617- Elimination of Needle Exchange Program
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 617
Status: Passed Senate Health & Welfare, headed to Senate floor

HB 617 attempts to repeals Chap 31 Title 37, which is the needle exchange program. Syringe exchange programs allow users with an addiction to obtain hypodermic needles and associated injection equipment at little or no cost, and most of these services allow users to exchange used, dirty needles for new ones. They also often provide other public health services, such as HIV and Hepatitis C testing and access to substance abuse counseling. 

Repealing the needle exchange programs won’t achieve substantial control over Idaho’s drug problem. Evidence-based and successful approaches to addiction include increasing the accessibility of needle exchanges and fentanyl testing strips, the accessibility of Naloxone, increasing harm-reduction policing, expansion of evidence-based pharmacological treatments, and stigma reduction messaging emphasizing fentanyl risk. Syringe exchanges are cost-effective and lifesaving programs. 

Learn more here.

HB 405 - Capitol Punishment, Lewd Conduct
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 405
Status: Assigned bill number

The ACLU of Idaho strongly opposes House Bill 405, which proposes adding "lewd conduct" with a child under the age of 12 as a crime punishable by death.  

This bill would leave current sentencing guidelines for lewd conduct with children between 12 and 16 years old unchanged, punishable by up to life in prison. HB 405 would significantly expand death penalty cases in the state and there are constitutional violations, especially regarding the Eighth Amendment's protections against cruel and unusual punishment. Additionally, have concerns about flaws in the legal system, logistical challenges of death sentencing, and increased costs associated with capital punishment. 

The ACLU has a longstanding opposition to capital punishment, emphasizing its inherent risk of extreme pain and torture. Modern execution methods, such as lethal injection, have proven to be inhumane, and the ACLU argues that no method of killing aligns with constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

HB 387-Increased Threshold for First-Time Domestic Violence Offender
ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 387
Status: Passed House, on third reading in Senate Judiciary and Rules

The ACLU of Idaho has always opposed blanket sentencing, which likely leads to an increase of people in  our jails and prisons.  

HB 387 intends to increase jail time (up to one year from six months) for first-time domestic violence offenders. This legislation is too blunt of an instrument for the complex, intractable issues associated with domestic violence. We know increased penalties will only lead to increased incarceration – and we know the carceral system disproportionately harms people of color. The law may also end up hurting domestic violence victims, especially those who are not treated fairly because of their skin color. 

Lastly, increasing the punishment for first-time offenders can cause more issues in the long run. Studies show that putting more people in jail for domestic violence likely increases recidivism, meaning HB 387 could end up causing more problems than it solves. 

Survivors of domestic violence deserve better solutions, ones that really work and treat everyone fairly. 

HB 390 - AG Concurrent Jurisdiction
ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 390
Status: Failed to pass Senate

ACLU national and ACLU of Idaho strongly oppose House Bill 390 due to concerns about the extension of the state attorney general's authority to include investigations and actions against elected city officials.  

Currently, the attorney general's role is to uphold state law, ensuring political neutrality and separation between state and local governments. HB 390 would broaden the attorney general's jurisdiction over local matters, potentially enabling politically motivated investigations against locally elected officials. The bill's expansion of investigative authority and criteria for investigation raises fears of eroding local autonomy, inviting politically driven allegations, investigations, and prosecutions. 

The bill exceeds any apparent need and risks potential abuse of the attorney general's authority. 

Read ACLU of Idaho testimony in strong opposition to HB 390

First Amendment

HB 623 - Domestic Terrorism
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 623
Status: Assigned bill number

The ACLU of Idaho opposes HB 623 because the bill seeks to redefine “domestic terrorism” to be indistinguishable from foreign terrorism. This provides a shield for domestic terrorist groups associated with violent white supremacy and insurrectionist acts, as they have no connection to foreign interests but still pose a threat to the safety and security of Idahoans. This bill is unnecessary at least, and harmful at most.  

Currently, domestic terrorists are investigated and prosecuted under federal law by the FBI, just as foreign terrorists are. Creating a new Idaho felony for domestic terrorism is redundant and conflicts with the way federal law enforcement conducts anti-terrorism investigations and prosecutions in Idaho.  

Additionally, as we already experienced multiple times in the past with the Japanese internment camps in the 1940s and the Patriot Act post 9/11, broad and vague orders or legislation in the supposed name of anti-terrorism have always resulted in racist harm against only communities of color, and increased surveillance of the citizenry that threatens or violates everyone’s Fourteenth Amendment right to privacy. By carving out white supremacist and seditious groups from being labeled domestic terrorists, this bill follows a racist history of misinterpreting terrorism. 

SB 1325 - Anti-SLAPP
The ACLU of Idaho has no stance on this legislation, but has recommendations in testimony
Status: Failed on Senate floor

The National ACLU and ACLU of Idaho have historically supported anti-SLAPP legislation. While SB 1325 mirrors the Model Act endorsed by the National ACLU, it lacks sufficient protections for vulnerable individuals. We propose several amendments to the bill, including excluding certain claims from anti-SLAPP provisions and implementing a notice provision to provide procedural protection to litigants. We believe these changes would better balance First Amendment rights with access to the courts and could lead to our support of the legislation. 

HB 517 - State-protected Hate Speech
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 517
Status: Returned to House Judiciary, Rules, and Administration Committee

HB 517, which seeks to expand existing protections for freedom of religion and speech in Idaho. While the bill duplicates existing statutes, it adds several new elements, including provisions regarding individual government employees, government entities, private causes of action, defense requirements, damages caps, and statutes of limitations. This legislation is being posed as a first amendment right bill which seeks to protect only a select group of individuals.  

This legislation is unnecessary, potentially harmful, and costly to local governments. It could incentivize discrimination claims, disregard the political will of local communities with anti-discrimination ordinances, and impose significant financial burdens on local governments.  

HB 382 - Artificial Intelligence Crime Against Children
ACLU of Idaho takes no position on this bill, but included recommendations in our testimony
Status: Assigned bill number

The ACLU of Idaho is dedicated to safeguarding freedom of speech for all individuals. As such, we diligently assess any proposed bill that pertains to the regulation of speech. 

House Bill 382 is based on the federal PROTECT Act, which prohibits the distribution or possession of "morphed" Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM), where a real child's features are superimposed onto explicit conduct. While we generally support this legislation, we suggested amendments to enhance First Amendment protections. These include refining the definition of "sexually exploitative material" to match federal standards, emphasizing the need for an "identifiable" child in each alternative definition, and addressing potential confusion around the term "identifiable minor." These modifications aim to achieve the bill's goal while ensuring the careful protection of free speech rights.

Read ACLU of Idaho testimony regarding HB 382

HB 391 - Synthetic Media
ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 391
Status: Assigned bill number

Artificial intelligence (A.I.) is increasingly shaping our lives across various domains, both public and private. The Idaho legislature is currently addressing this matter through proposed legislation. However, it is crucial for lawmakers to recognize and address the substantial impact these initiatives may have on civil rights and liberties. However, it is crucial for lawmakers to recognize and address the substantial impact these initiatives may have on civil rights and liberties.

HB 391 addresses the issue of explicit synthetic media, commonly known as deepfakes. The bill criminalizes the disclosure of such media with the intent to annoy, terrify, threaten, intimidate, harass, offend, humiliate, or degrade someone. It also criminalizes the possession and threat of disclosure with the intent to obtain money or other valuable consideration from an identifiable person portrayed in the media. Violation of these provisions constitutes a misdemeanor, with the possibility of felony charges for repeat offenses within five years.

We strongly oppose HB 391 due to its failure to adequately protect First Amendment freedoms and its potential impact on constitutionally protected speech. The bill lacks an affirmative defense of consent, making it problematic for individuals who willingly participate in the creation and distribution of explicit synthetic media. Furthermore, the broad intent clause of HB 391 implicates a wide range of speech, including parody and other forms of protected expression, potentially chilling protected free speech. The ACLU of Idaho advocates for a more narrowly crafted approach that safeguards individual privacy without unnecessarily infringing on free speech rights. 

Read ACLU of Idaho testimony in opposition of HB 391

SB 1220 - Domestic Terrorism
ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES SB 1220
Status: Replaced by HB 623

The ACLU and ACLU of Idaho have consistently opposed the codification of a federal crime of "domestic terrorism" for over five decades, successfully preventing its establishment. Senate Bill 1220, if enacted, would amend existing Idaho law to include a definition of domestic terrorism that would also replace the term "civil disorder". This change carries similar penalties as for terrorism, including prison sentencing and fines. The bill narrows the scope of anti-terrorist efforts by focusing on crimes committed in Idaho in coordination with a designated foreign terrorist organization.

SB 1220 may inadvertently lead to increased violence, as it links terrorism to foreign actors, potentially leaving unaffiliated violent actors in Idaho uninvestigated or unpunished. The bill raises surveillance and privacy concerns, expanding government authority to monitor communities and potentially enabling profiling based on race, nationality, and other protected categories. Existing laws already grant sufficient authority to address threats of violence, and the proposed bill could lead to government abuse of authority, particularly in the context of our current political climate. Additionally, there are concerns about how the bill might affect constitutionally protected activities, such as climate justice protests, reproductive justice protests, and anti-war protests, as its vague language and severe penalties may impede political dissent.

Read the ACLU of Idaho overview of SB 1220

Immigrant Justice

HJM 8 - Increased Militarization of U.S.-Mexico border
Status: Unclear -- passed out of House State Affairs Committee but heading back to committee

The ACLU of Idaho and ACLU oppose House Joint Memorial 8 (HJM 8), which uses racist and anti-immigrant language to call for increased militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border. This memorial unfairly targets immigrants, undermines our values of justice and equality, and perpetuates harmful stereotypes. 

In recent years, anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies have increased, with HJM 8 following a familiar script. However, the scope, tone, and language of this memorial are unprecedented and un-American. We believe Congress should pass immigration reform that modernizes our immigration process while upholding immigrants' human rights. We urge opposition to HJM 8, as it promotes divisive rhetoric and threatens the rights and safety of Idahoans of color. 

HB 615 - Eliminating Public Service for Undocumented Folks
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 615
Status: Defeated in House Health & Welfare

HB 615 aims to amend specific sections of the Idaho Code pertaining to welfare, with a primary focus on revising the verification requirements for lawful presence in the United States for individuals applying for state or local public benefits. The proposed changes are intended to address the eligibility criteria for undocumented individuals seeking assistance in Idaho. 

While the bill preserves access to emergency medical services for undocumented individuals, as currently authorized by Idaho law, it does entail the removal of non-emergency health care benefits and certain social benefits such as pre/post-natal care, immunizations, soup kitchens. By having these verification requirements, it creates barriers for accessing public benefits, especially if individuals can’t provide the verification requirements immediately. Also, by giving agencies and political subdivisions the authority to adopt variations of the requirements for verification it can create inconsistencies and unequal treatment depending on where they apply for the services. All Idahoans deserve access to public services regardless of their immigration status.   

HB 464 - Interstate Compact Borders
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 464
Status: Passed House, referred to Senate State Affairs

HB 464 Compact Border aims to empower the Governor of Idaho to develop and execute an interstate compact for border security with other interested states, particularly focusing on the border with Mexico. The compact would allow for joint action among participating states to share law enforcement intelligence, resources, and personnel to address “illegal” activities occurring at the border. This legislation has been posed as an invasion of immigrants in this state similarly to the Texas governor who has falsely characterized increased immigration to the US as an “invasion,” arguing the federal government is violating Article IV of the US constitution through its immigration policies.    

Interstate compacts are illegal. The US constitution prohibits states from entering compacts with one another. The federal government is responsible for securing U.S. borders: immigration enforcement, border patrol, and other immigration-related law enforcement are only permitted to enforce federal law.  

The ACLU strongly opposes this type of legislation. While the governor of Idaho throws their support behind Gov. Abbott and his extreme and hateful policies, we know that this is not what our community stands for. Immigrants make our state stronger. Cruelty at the border is a sign of our failure to live up to our own values. 

HB 510 - Mandatory E-Verify
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 510
Status: Assigned bill number

HB 510 is a legislative proposal that intends to add to Idaho employment law to prohibit employment of unauthorized workers and require employers to use E-Verify an employee’s legal employment status as a condition of employment. 

The E-Verify system is a massive, error-ridden government database that is unreliable and unacceptable as a means of verifying work authorization. In order to detect the small percentage of job seekers who are unauthorized workers, a mandatory E-Verify system creates a whole new level of intrusive government oversight of daily life — a bureaucratic “prove yourself to work” system that hurts ordinary people. 


Voting Rights

SB 1377 Changes to Ballot Initiative Process
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES SB 1377
Status: Passed Senate, referred to House State Affairs

This bill would have negative effects on the ballot initiative process, making the overall democratic process less accessible for Idahoans. 

The bill mandates extensive disclosure requirements for people who work to collect signatures. The additional requirements would make paid signature gatherers:

  • Disclose that they are paid via verbal notifications
  • Include“prominent” declarations on each petition page, and
  • Wear a “prominently visible" badge

These provisions are excessive and could infringe on the privacy of signature gatherers, as being paid for a job does not usually warrant prominent public disclosure. 

Additionally, the bill introduces cumbersome verification requirements that if not met, would void collected signatures, potentially complicating and hindering the ballot and initiative process. This creates unnecessary bureaucracy--especially by requiring the Secretary of State to implement rules regarding signature gatherer identification--posing an additional burden without clear purpose. 

SB 1377 would overly regulate signature gathering, potentially making the democratic process of ballot initiatives more difficult and expensive. Further, the proposed legislation raises privacy concerns, and lacks clarity on enforcement mechanisms.

Housing Justice

HB 545 - Anti-rent control
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES HB 545
Status: Passed House, referred to Senate Commerce & Resources

House Bill 545, aims to prohibit local governments from mandating participation in federal housing assistance programs and implementing rent control measures.  

This bill threatens housing equality and undermines local control over housing policy. Rent control is crucial for ensuring fair and stable housing, and prohibiting it will deepen systemic inequalities. This expansion poses a threat to housing equality, a fundamental human right and civil liberty. The ACLU of Idaho has long recognized fair and stable housing as essential in addressing systemic inequality. Housing access directly impacts various aspects of individuals' lives, including education, healthcare, security, opportunity, and wealth. HB 545 represents government overreach by limiting local autonomy and disregarding the needs of communities. 

SB 1327 - Eviction Shielding Expungement 
The ACLU of Idaho SUPPORTS SB 1327
Status: Passed Senate, referred to House Judiciary, Rules & Administration

Senate Bill 1327 aims to shield eviction records in cases where the eviction case has been dismissed and no appeal is pending, and at least three years have passed since the date of the eviction filing. 

Housing is not just a basic human right; it's also a civil right guaranteed under our laws. We've long recognized fair and stable housing as crucial in our efforts to end systemic inequality. Today, fair housing remains essential in addressing deepening income inequality, as discriminatory housing practices continue to affect access to education, healthcare, security, opportunity, and wealth. 

Evictions have significant consequences. In Idaho, eviction records are permanent and public, impacting renters for life. They can limit access to housing and hinder stable employment. Many evictions occur for reasons beyond a renter's control, leading to unjust consequences that extend far beyond the eviction itself. As Idaho's population grows, so do housing costs, leading to increased precarity and vulnerability to evictions. This legislation can help mitigate the dire consequences of rapid population growth and associated housing crises. 

Constitutional Convention

Constitutional Convention Article V - SCR 114 & SCR 115
The ACLU of Idaho OPPOSES SCR 114 & SCR 115
Status: Passed committee, referred to Senate floor

The ACLU of Idaho has deep concerns about the dangerous and unintended consequences that are likely to result from calling a constitutional convention for the first time in the modern history of our republic. 

Under Article V of the Constitution, there are two methods by which the Constitution can be changed. The first, which has been repeated 27 times, requires approval of a specific amendment by two-thirds of the House and Senate and three-fourths of the states. The other, never-before-used method is the convening of a convention, which Congress “shall call” upon “the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the states.” Any changes to the Constitution passed by that constitutional convention must then be approved by three fourths of the states. 

In the entire history of our republic, a constitutional convention has never been convened, and it is no wonder. To do so is a radical act that places our entire Constitution at risk. In recent years, however, numerous bills have been circulated among state legislatures calling for a convention. 

The issue lies in the lack of assurance that a constitutional convention wouldn't lead to a compromise of civil liberties, potentially with dire consequences. Absent standardized procedures for convening and managing such a convention, there's no guarantee of representative delegates or fair procedural rules. Of utmost concern is the potential for the convention to stray from its intended purpose and impulsively amend our nation's foundational legal document, posing a significant risk to its integrity. 

To learn more, visit: constitutioncoalition.org