Author

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 JJCommonTater.com.

COMMENTARY
Alaska I voted stickers

Alaska has shown how to achieve sensible election reform Idaho can learn from

By: - September 13, 2022

The Gem State had an open primary system prior to 2012. When the primary election rolled around voters would just request a ballot for the party of their choice – Republican, Democrat, whatever – and then vote among the candidates on that ballot. It worked well, but not to the satisfaction of right-wing Republicans who […]

COMMENTARY
Brielle Robinson at advocacy group gathering

Judge Idaho’s congressional delegation by their actions on veterans bill, not their words

By: - August 9, 2022

Members of Idaho’s congressional delegation would probably not receive any heroism awards for their actions relating to the PACT Act, also known as the “burn pit” bill. When the act came up for a vote, our congressional troops flat failed to protect the backs of sick veterans. U.S. Reps. Russ Fulcher and Mike Simpson voted […]

COMMENTARY
Ryan Cole in a white lab coat stands talking in front of a banner that says "Frontline Flash"

Why does this guy still have an Idaho medical license?

By: - August 3, 2022

Garden City pathologist Ryan Cole burst onto the national scene as a leading COVID-19 vaccination denier and purveyor of unproven cures in July of 2021. Speaking at a meeting of America’s Frontline Doctors, a group of COVID-19 anti-vaccination activists, Cole falsely described the life-saving vaccines as “fake,” a “clot shot” and “needle rape.” He falsely […]

COMMENTARY
Empty school classroom

The U.S. Supreme Court warns against state funding of private schools

By: - July 6, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court has again ruled that a state will be required to fund religious schooling if, but only if, it provides funding for private schooling. Speaking for the court’s Republican supermajority in Carson v. Makin, Chief Justice John Roberts put it this way: “A State need not subsidize private education. But once a […]

COMMENTARY
Abraham Lincoln Memorial

As we celebrate the Fourth of July, just what is an American patriot?

By: - July 4, 2022

As the nation observes the 246th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, we will often hear mention of patriots and patriotism. But, just what does it mean to be a patriot? The dictionary defines the term as “a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.” That […]

COMMENTARY
Minidoka honor roll

Idaho’s Minidoka National Historic Site reminds us to remain vigilant against racial injustice

By: - June 22, 2022

I had the privilege of speaking at a ceremony held June 13 at what was once known as the Minidoka Relocation Camp in Jerome County, recognizing the 80-year anniversary of the start of camp construction. Minidoka was one of 10 locations established in Western states in 1942 to imprison Japanese Americans who were uprooted from […]

COMMENTARY
Robb Elementary School vigil

Idaho’s founders put a high priority on gun safety and responsibility

By: - June 2, 2022

Growing up in Idaho in the 1950s, it was an article of faith that every youngster was going to get the gun responsibility lecture before being turned loose with a firearm – always assume the piece is loaded, never point a gun at anyone, be aware and respectful of everyone around you and so on. […]

COMMENTARY
World War II memorial in Washington, D.C.

We can pay respect to our fallen military personnel by being better Americans

By: - May 30, 2022

Memorial Day is a time set aside for Americans to honor and mourn U.S. military personnel who died in service to their country. There have been many. America suffered 623,468 deaths in its major conflicts since the beginning of World War I. We owe these dedicated men and women our lasting gratitude for putting their […]

COMMENTARY
Ada County voting booths

Idahoans should not be discouraged from exercising their lawful voting rights

By: - May 6, 2022

We often hear of folks who take advantage of tax breaks that some would view as unfair, but they can’t be faulted if the law specifically provides for the break. Or, say a government program provides a monetary grant or forgivable loan for pandemic relief. It is not dishonest to take the money if you […]

COMMENTARY
Door to the Office of the Attorney General at the Idaho State Capitol building on March 23, 2021.

Keeping the state on firm legal ground isn’t headline-grabbing, but it’s essential to Idaho

By: - April 22, 2022

The six of us served as Idaho attorney general from 1971 to 2003, a total of 32 years. It is an important state office, but Idahoans are often in the dark as to what the attorney general is supposed to do. Although the AG runs on a partisan ticket, voters may not know that his […]

COMMENTARY
Idaho State Capitol

Many Idaho lawmakers retaliate against our state’s constitutional truth tellers

By: - March 31, 2022

Attorney General Lawrence Wasden has accumulated quite a cadre of political enemies in the Idaho Legislature for giving honest, accurate legal advice on legislative bills that contain fatal constitutional flaws. He does not volunteer the opinions – they are only provided in response to requests from legislators. The AG’s opinion-writing duty is much like the […]

COMMENTARY
The Three Servicemen statue at Vietnam Veterans Memorial

While National Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Day is appreciated, limiting war is the true lesson

By: - March 29, 2022

The National Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Day Act was passed by Congress in 2017 to recognize those who served in that ill-fated war. Because of the heated controversy about the war in the U.S., many service personnel came home to an indifferent, even-hostile reception. The 2017 Act was designed to demonstrate the belated thanks of […]