Ada County Courthouse generic copy

The Ada County Courthouse in Boise

A judge has thrown out the Idaho Freedom Foundation’s lawsuit against the city of Boise over urban renewal, writes Idaho Press reporter Margaret Carmel. 4th District Judge Lynn Norton dismissed the libertarian-leaning think tank’s lawsuit it filed in January alleging Boise’s two newest urban renewal districts violated the Idaho State Constitution. Norton struck one of IFF’s amended complaints from the record, finding that more than a dozen plaintiffs were invalid, and dismissed the case entirely.

The basis of Norton’s decision to dismiss the case came from the 2009 Idaho Supreme Court case Rexburg v. Hart, Carmel reports. In this case, a resident sued the city because he did not believe revenue allocation financing through the urban renewal agency was a legitimate way to fund a project. The court ruled in the city’s favor, finding that urban renewal agencies are not “alter egos” of cities and their borrowing funds without consent of the voters does not violate the constitution.

IFF spokesman Dustin Hurst said his organization will continue to fight what it views as abuses of urban renewal funding statewide, but could not give details about their future plans.

This is not the first time IFF has lost in court. In January, the group argued before the Idaho Supreme Court that Medicaid expansion was unconstitutional and was quickly ruled against. It also filed suit in 2016 alleging the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, which oversees some standardized testing in Idaho is unconstitutional, as well as the Boise School District over a contract with the teachers union in 2015. Both of those suits were dismissed.

You can read Carmel's full report here at (subscription required), or pick up today's edition of the Idaho Press.

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.

Load comments