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

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Idaho Supreme Court Building

Idaho has an exemplary process for picking judges, why fix it?

By: - March 18, 2022

During his 12 years as Idaho governor, Butch Otter tells me he appointed 56 judges for Idaho’s judicial system – five justices of the Supreme Court, all of the current judges on the Court of Appeals and over 45 District Court judges. He regularly received praise from other governors for the high quality of Idaho’s […]

Private or public school?

As legislators consider voucher scholarship bill, they should reread the Idaho Constitution

By: and - February 28, 2022

Sometimes you wonder if certain members of the Idaho Legislature have even read the Idaho Constitution. For all their pronouncements about honoring and faithfully following the U.S. and Idaho Constitutions, they pay precious little regard to them when passing legislation that fits their agenda. Legislators have ignored their duty under the Constitution to adequately fund […]

Idaho State Capitol rotunda

In Idaho, we should heed George Washington’s warning against extreme political partisanship

By: - February 24, 2022

George Washington, America’s first president and one its greatest, was born on the 22nd of February 290 years ago. Lacking Methuselah’s longevity, he is no longer with us. But the wisdom he left with us has turned out to be right on the mark. We can save our state and Nation if we heed his […]

For rent sign in Boise

Idaho should not let big property managers victimize hard-pressed renters

By: - February 9, 2022

The Idaho House of Representatives has handed large property owners and managers a significant victory that will come back to bite many hard-pressed residential renters. House Bill 442, which passed on a 54-14 vote on Feb. 7, will allow landlords and property management companies to impose additional financial burdens on renters in cities where affordable […]

Idaho Capitol rotunda

Our Idaho legislators should take a budgeting lesson from struggling families

By: - January 19, 2022

Even before they blew into Boise for the 2022 legislative session, Idaho legislators were rhapsodizing about the gigantic tax cuts they were going to bestow upon their voters – $350 million, $400 million, $600 million. The sky’s the limit in an election year. There is certainly enough surplus revenue in state coffers to sweeten the […]