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.
Idaho’s defense of unconstitutional initiative bill cost taxpayers another third-to-half a million
By: Jim Jones - 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, […]
Idahoans are tough. We can protect our freedoms by fighting our common enemy: the coronavirus.
By: David Pate, Jim Jones and Mike Satz - 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 […]
Idaho-grown lawyer nominated by President Joe Biden to become next U.S. solicitor general
By: Jim Jones - 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 […]
Can Idahoans really be required to get COVID-19 vaccines? Case law says yes.
By: Jim Jones - 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 […]
Idaho needs to up its game in providing behavioral health services. These clinics could help.
By: Jim Jones - July 23, 2021
There is a chronic shortage of behavioral health resources in Idaho. The Kaiser Family Foundation reported that about 100,000 Idaho adults had an unmet need for mental health treatment in 2018-19. Children fare no better in the Gem State. Idaho has received a 46th place ranking among the states for child access to mental health […]
As climate change disasters strike, couldn’t we at least try to leave our descendants a livable world?
By: Jim Jones - July 7, 2021
Every Scouting family knows that Lord Robert Baden-Powell was the founder of the world Scouting program. Included in his last message to the Scouts was this piece of wisdom: “Try and leave this world a little better than you found it, and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that […]
This July 4, we must reject extreme partisanship that ‘foments occasionally riot and insurrection’
By: Jim Jones - July 2, 2021
A group of American patriots met in Philadelphia on July 4, 1776, to sign a document declaring independence from the British Crown. The signers ended the Declaration of Independence, saying “we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” They knew that formation of a new nation was dangerous and […]
Immediate U.S. action is essential to save our endangered Afghan friends — before it’s too late
By: Jim Jones - June 28, 2021
Editor’s note: This guest column was originally published in The Hill on May 19. President Joe Biden and White House officials on Thursday said they plan to evacuate Afghans who worked with the U.S. military in Afghanistan and could be targeted by the Taliban as the U.S. withdraws military from the country. “Those who helped […]
Optics of G-7 meeting shows America is stronger when it works with its global allies
By: Jim Jones - June 16, 2021
The optics of the G-7 meeting are encouraging. President Joe Biden was warmly received by our closest allies, and plans were laid to forge a joint strategy to confront China, our principal geopolitical adversary. The U.S. has dropped its go-it-alone policy and returned to its post-WWII alliance-based strategy of supporting democracies and opposing tyrannical regimes. […]
Idaho pursues that most elusive quarry — critical race theory
By: Jim Jones - June 3, 2021
Idaho politicians have been doggedly engaged of late in a quest to find and defeat a cunning and elusive adversary —critical race theory. Republican legislators spent weeks this past session, trying without success to define it, then just gave up and prohibited its presence in public school classrooms. Much like the chimeric Sasquatch, they could […]