Jim Jones

Jim Jones

Jim Jones served as Idaho attorney general for eight years (1983-1991) and as a justice of the Idaho Supreme Court for 12 years (2005-2017). His weekly columns are collected at

School children wait in line for vaccinations in the 1940s

Giving thanks to America’s medical community for life-saving vaccines

By: - November 25, 2021

If we were not still in the grip of a deadly pandemic, with the seven-day average U.S. death toll from the coronavirus hovering just over 1,100 a day, I probably would not have thought of giving thanks this year for the medical researchers who have given this country protection against many life-threatening illnesses. Back in […]

Idaho State Capitol

GOP leadership takes a test drive of a full-time Legislature for Idaho

By: - November 16, 2021

Make no mistake about it, the reconvening of the 2021 legislative session is a test to see whether the Idaho Legislature can get away with meeting throughout the year, without having to amend the Idaho Constitution. The idea of a full-time Legislature has been a twinkle in the eye of some legislators for years. At […]

Jim Jones and Keith Painter

Veterans did not put our lives on the line just to watch our country be torn apart from the inside

By: - November 11, 2021

Maj. Keith Painter and I had exchanged a couple of letters and phone calls, first in 1990 and again in 2020, but had never actually seen one another since I left our artillery unit in August 1969. After the passage of 52 years, we finally got together for lunch in Bountiful, Utah, on Oct. 19.  […]

Idaho Capital Building in Boise

Idaho’s closed Republican primary election has got to go

By: - October 26, 2021

Comparing the Idaho legislative session this year with those I have observed over the last half century, this was decidedly the worst. Legislators variously proposed or passed unconstitutional bills, tried to make the initiative and referendum unworkable, refused to take the COVID-19 crisis seriously, shot down funding bills for no valid reason, tried to solve […]

Justice Roger Burdick

Idaho’s former Chief Justice Burdick hasn’t slowed in retirement, drawn firearms notwithstanding

By: - October 8, 2021

Many Idaho court watchers figured the former Chief Justice of the Idaho Supreme Court, Roger Burdick, would slow down to smell the roses when he retired at the end of June. It was not to be. On Sept. 25, Burdick played an instrumental role in the arrest of two individuals on a variety of charges […]

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

How can we bestow love upon our neighbors in Idaho’s COVID-19 crisis?

By: - September 29, 2021

“Love thy neighbor” is a bedrock tenet of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Leviticus 19:18 portrays God directly telling Moses, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Building on this theme, when Jesus was asked which of the commandments was greatest, he replied that the first and greatest commandment was an unquestioning love of God and “the […]

Joe Biden gets COVID-19 vaccination

Joe Biden’s ‘most egregious and tyrannical’ action may actually help GOP governors save lives

By: - September 15, 2021

A convergence of three unsettling headlines appeared for my morning reading the day before the nation observed the 20-year commemoration of the tragic deaths of almost 3,000 Americans on Sept. 11, 2001. The very day of the remembrance ceremonies, the 7-day average for loss of American lives to the ongoing COVID-19 catastrophe was 1,666, as […]

Embassy Of Afghanistan In Washington DC

Words of advice to my brothers and sisters who served in Afghanistan

By: - September 9, 2021

Originally published on Aug. 21, 2021 in The Hill Having served in Vietnam in 1968-1969 and had my heart broken by the precipitous fall of the South Vietnamese government in 1975, I have a sense of how our veterans who served in Afghanistan must be feeling now. How could a good and generous country like […]

The Idaho Supreme Court building in Boise on March 23, 2021.

Idaho’s defense of unconstitutional initiative bill cost taxpayers another third-to-half a million

By: - September 1, 2021

The Idaho Supreme Court delivered a resounding blow for democracy of, by and for the people on Aug. 23, declaring the Legislature’s bill to throttle the initiative and referendum to be unconstitutional. Although many people, including five former Idaho attorneys general, had warned that the legislation, Senate Bill 1110, was violative of the Idaho Constitution, […]

St. Luke's patient receives vaccine

Idahoans are tough. We can protect our freedoms by fighting our common enemy: the coronavirus.

By: , and - August 27, 2021

The valiant struggle of today’s health care workers against the coronavirus hearkens back to one of the toughest enemies George Washington faced while fighting for American independence: variola, the smallpox virus. Smallpox was decimating the ranks of the Continentals in 1776, threatening our fight for freedom. Despite misgivings of the Continental Congress, Washington ordered a […]

Photo shows the U.S. Supreme Court at dusk

Idaho-grown lawyer nominated by President Joe Biden to become next U.S. solicitor general

By: - August 18, 2021

President Joe Biden has nominated a native Idahoan, Elizabeth Barchas Prelogar, to serve as next Solicitor General of the United States. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she would be the second woman to head that office. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, who served from 2009 to 2010, was the first. Prelogar would be the […]

COVID-19 vaccine

Can Idahoans really be required to get COVID-19 vaccines? Case law says yes.

By: - August 2, 2021

Hennings Jacobson strongly objected to the state’s requirement that he be vaccinated. He argued that “a compulsory vaccination law is unreasonable, arbitrary and oppressive, and, therefore, hostile to the inherent right of every freeman to care for his own body and health in such way as to him seems best.” Similar arguments have been made […]