(Office of the Attorney General, October 6, 2023)
In bittersweet news, we announce the departure of our Solicitor General, Theo Wold, as he answers another call of service. In this special edition of our newsletter, I want to highlight Theo’s incredible work for our office.
When I embarked on the journey to run for the Office of the Attorney General, I knew the road ahead would be fraught with challenges. Defeating a twenty-year incumbent from my party was no small feat. To succeed, I needed a campaign team that was not just excellent but also adaptable, strategic, and intelligent. In Theo Wold, I found the perfect partner. Together, Theo and I traversed the entire state of Idaho, from Boundary to Caribou County, to truly understand the needs and aspirations of our fellow Idahoans. We listened to stories from ranchers burdened by regulations, homeowners battling the federal government, and individuals concerned about the infringement of the Second Amendment. With Theo’s unwavering support, we crafted a campaign that promised to address these concerns upon taking office. And, true to our word, we have delivered on those promises in our first year in office.
While it’s impossible to recount every triumph Solicitor General Theo Wold, with the assistance of Lincoln Wilson and the Civil Litigation and Constitutional Defense Division, has contributed to, here are a few remarkable highlights:
- Texas, Idaho v. EPA: Theo spearheaded a nationally significant challenge to the EPA’s “waters of the United States” definition in the Clean Water Act. His efforts secured the first injunction against this unlawful regulation even before SCOTUS decided Sackett. The previous administration had allowed the federal government to dictate water rights in Idaho, even refusing to support the Sacketts in their fight against the EPA’s overreach, so this victory was an important statement that things would be different for Idaho going forward.
- Defending Second Amendment Rights: Theo took the lead in filing four amicus briefs that gained the support of more than 20 states; he initiated lawsuits against the Biden administration fighting back against unlawful gun regulations; and he partnered with other state solicitor general offices to file amicus briefs defending the Second Amendment in courts across the nation. From protecting Idaho gun manufacturers and sellers to ensuring every Idahoan has the right to purchase the firearm of his or her choice, Theo made Idaho a national leader in defending the Second Amendment.
- Building a Supreme Court Practice from Scratch: In just nine months, Theo transformed our office’s Supreme Court practice. He filed three pivotal Supreme Court amicus briefs, including one seeking to overturn Martin v City of Boise, which made states powerless to address the homeless crisis. He joined with other attorney general offices on numerous others, notably asking the Supreme Court to protect veteran benefits and First Amendment rights and to rein in federal bureaucrats and out-of-control agencies. He even asked the Supreme Court to grant review of one of our own cases to fix an erroneous decision that made it more difficult for law enforcement to stop drug trafficking.
- Fighting Against Local Federal Overreach: Theo played a pivotal role in countless cases and issues involving federal overreach. Some of the highlights include punching back against the Lava Ridge Project and making sure Idaho land and interests aren’t sold out, working strategically to manage Idaho’s Grizzly Bear population despite strong headwinds and opposition from the federal government, and opposing onerous water regulations that would make Idaho’s rights subservient to “Tribal Reserved Rights.”
- Defending State Laws: Theo consistently defended laws enacted by our legislature, including when the Biden Administration sued Idaho to stop its Defense of Life Act from taking effect, when outside interest groups and coastal law firms banded together to challenge Idaho’s Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, protections for minors from being trafficked for abortions and from being given life-altering surgeries and puberty blockers, and voter ID laws. Theo has been on the front lines of protecting the values of the people of Idaho.
Although Theo is departing service with the Attorney General’s Office, he will be continuing to serve his country: Theo has accepted an opportunity to train as a commissioned intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. After training, Theo will be assigned to a Special Operations Unit executing a unique intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance mission for Air Force Special Operations Command. Theo’s grandfather survived the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor and served in the Pacific Theater thereafter. In deciding to serve, Theo was greatly influenced by his grandfather’s lifelong example. We are deeply grateful for his countless contributions to our office.