(Attorney General’s Office, September 8, 2023)
Fighting the Biden administration and progressive left states continues to keep the Idaho Office of the Attorney General busy. This week, I joined an 18-state coalition in support of Tennessee’s defense of its Adult Entertainment Act (AEA), protecting minors from lewd and obscene behavior. A district court incorrectly ruled against the law, and this effort supports the appeal of that initial ruling. Contrary to what its critics say, the law does not ban drag shows. By its own terms, the AEA applies only to certain forms of adult entertainment that are sexual or explicit performances, and the law does not even ban those performances. It simply requires this type of adult entertainment to occur in adult-only zones and prohibits such entertainment on public property. We have a moral and legal obligation to ensure this ruling does not stand. I am proud to join other Attorneys General in appealing this wrong decision.
Additionally, in order to protect your 2nd amendment rights, I joined a coalition of 19 state attorneys general in filing an amicus brief urging the court to halt Maryland county’s unconstitutional gun bans in places of public assembly and in the 100-yard “buffer zones” around them. The amicus brief asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to reverse a federal district court decision that denied the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in that case, Maryland Shall Issue, Inc. v. Montgomery County, Maryland, and to ensure that courts properly employ the approach required by the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen. In the case of Bruen, the Supreme Court established that for a gun restriction to be deemed constitutional, it must be “relevantly similar” to a regulation that was in place either during the adoption of the Second Amendment in 1791 or at the time of the ratification of the Amendment in 1868. The law in question, impermissibly extends the restrictions on gun possession to places of worship, public parks, recreational and multipurpose exhibition facilities, public libraries, and buffer zones. An attack on our constitutional rights anywhere is an attack on them everywhere. My office will remain resolute in defending the rights of all Americans.
I also stand firm in my commitment to defending the lives of the unborn. The Biden Administration instructed the Department of Justice to initiate legal action against Idaho over the Defense of Life Act, asserting that the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (“EMTALA”) supersedes Idaho law, obliging Idaho hospitals to provide abortions. The district court upheld this unconventional interpretation. I lodged an appeal against the preliminary injunction seeking to have the district court’s injunction lifted by the Ninth Circuit, permitting Idaho to fully implement the Defense of Life Act. In the context of Idaho, the requested abortions by the United States are not accessible to any patient. This case is not just about legal interpretation; it’s about the fundamental principles of federalism and state sovereignty. We trust that the courts will uphold these principles, allowing Idaho to govern its healthcare policies in accordance with the values of its residents.
Serving the people of Idaho as your Attorney General is a privilege and honor, that I don’t take for granted. Every day we must remain vigilant in holding the line and keeping Idaho a great state for generations to come!