Hon. Brad Little
Governor of Idaho
Boise, Idaho 83720

Re: House Bill 500

Dear Governor Little:

We write to urge that you give great weight to the advice of our successor, incumbent Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, regarding House Bill 500. The Attorney General has opined that the legislation contains a number of legal infirmities, making it subject to invalidation in federal court proceedings. The more serious concern is apparent conflict with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but other provisions of federal law are implicated.

As you know, the Attorney General is a constitutional officer, charged with providing legal advice to officers and entities of state government. It is not always a comfortable position to occupy, particularly where politically-charged issues are involved. Transgender issues certainly fit into that category. Regardless of how an Attorney General may personally feel about an issue, it is his or her responsibility to observe our sacrosanct regard for the rule of law and give sound legal advice based on the law, as interpreted by the courts.

The Attorney General has raised serious concerns about the legal viability and timing of this legislation, which will have a difficult time withstanding a court challenge. Our State has been in this position a number of times during our respective tenures as Attorney General and rather more so during the incumbent’s tenure. He has frequently cautioned against passage of legally suspect legislation and has a good record of being correct. He has urged awaiting the outcome of currently pending federal cases relating to this issue. Disregarding his sound advice has been costly for our State. It could well be with regard to House Bill 500.

We urge that you exercise your veto on House Bill 500 to keep a legally infirm statute off of the books and to save the State from having to pay out substantial legal fees to those who take it to court. The Attorney General has provided sound advice and fair warning. Please heed it.

Tony Park (1971-1975)
Wayne Kidwell (1975-1979)
David Leroy (1979-1983)

Jim Jones (1983-1991)
Al Lance (1995-2003)