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

Gov. Brad Little in House chambers

The Legislature is violating its constitutional duty to adequately fund Idaho’s public schools

By: - January 13, 2022

Idaho has an historic $1.6 billion revenue surplus, much of which can and should be used to finally satisfy the Legislature’s constitutional duty to provide adequate funding for Idaho’s public school system. Article IX, Section 1 of the Idaho Constitution commands that “it shall be the duty of the legislature of Idaho, to establish and […]

Trump supporters storming the U.S. Capitol

This time, let’s not ignore a distinguished Idaho State grad’s warning about our democracy’s fate

By: - December 27, 2021

A hand grenade was dropped into the lap of Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba in 2004 when he was assigned to investigate reports of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq. I understand the conflicting interests such an investigator faces because I had been appointed to investigate an artillery incident involving a friend in my […]

Rep. Liz Cheney

U.S. Congresswoman Liz Cheney is the Margaret Chase Smith of our time

By: - December 21, 2021

The latest skirmish in the war between Donald Trump and Liz Cheney began Oct. 10, when Fox News host Chris Wallace asked Trump acolyte, House Minority Whip Steve Scalice (R-La.), whether President Biden had legitimately won the 2020 election. Scalice was not about to fall into the trap of answering a direct yes or no […]

Bob Dole

What ever happened to Bob Dole style Republicans?

By: - December 15, 2021

Sen. Bob Dole moved from the House to the Senate a year before I started a three-year stint in Washington with former Idaho Sen. Len Jordan in 1970. You hear a lot over the Capitol grapevine about various senators, and Dole was a frequent topic of conversation. Word was that he was ambitious, more partisan […]

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 […]