U.S. District Courthouse in Boise

James D. McClure U.S. District Courthouse and federal building in Boise

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Idaho Gov. Brad Little and Secretary of State Lawerence Denney say they plan to appeal Tuesday’s U.S. District Court decision granting Reclaim Idaho’s request for a second chance to qualify its school-funding initiative for the November ballot, after the statewide stay-home order cut off signature gathering prior to the state’s deadline.

“This decision is a surprising exercise of judicial activism. We plan to appeal this decision immediately,” the two said in a joint statement.

No appeal had been filed on Wednesday, according to the Idaho Attorney General’s office. U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill on Tuesday gave the state until Friday at 5 p.m. to decide how to proceed, after giving it two choices: Either certify that the signatures already collected are sufficient and the measure can go on the ballot; or allow the volunteer group 48 more days of signature-gathering, the amount it lost when the stay-home order took effect, and allow signatures to be gathered electronically for safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

Chad Houck, chief deputy secretary of state, said Wednesday afternoon, “At this point in time we’re reviewing what that appeal would look like. We don’t have any timelines or anything yet of that nature, beyond as quickly as possible.”

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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