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How to Recall Idaho U.S. Senator Larry Craig
Boise, ID – Contrary to Idaho Statesman
editor Kevin Reichert, who concluded that Idaho statutes seem to preclude
the recall of Idaho U.S. Senators, a brief review of Idaho’s Constitution
and recall statutes may show otherwise.
including Idaho, allow for a recall of their U.S. Senators. Each state is
different and, for Idaho, one must first read the Idaho Constitution and
then the Idaho statutes to understand the hierarchy of law.
Idaho Constitution states in Article VI, SUFFRAGE AND ELECTIONS, Section 6.
RECALL OF OFFICERS AUTHORIZED. ”Every public
officer in the state of Idaho, excepting the judicial officers, is subject
to recall by the legal voters of the state or of the electoral district from
which he is elected. The legislature shall pass the necessary laws to carry
this provision into effect.”
It is important to understand that the
Idaho Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land (subordinate only to the
U.S. Constitution) and, therefore, legally trumps, or guides, all Idaho
Note that Art. VI, Sect 6,
states that “Every public officer in the
state of Idaho” is subject to recall. Idaho’s U.S. Congressmen
are public officers in, of, for, and from the state of Idaho. They are not
federally elected or appointed such as the Secretary of Defense. They are
politicians elected by and representing Idahoans – not Georgians or
Californians – and they run in special created districts in Idaho. Idaho
U.S. Representative Bill Sali represents voters in Legislative District 1
and Mike Simpson represents voters in Legislative District 2. Idaho’s two
U.S. Senators represent a special legislative district that includes the
entire state of Idaho to comply with the U.S. Constitution. Nor does Art.
VI, Sect 6, imply that “every public officer
in the state of Idaho” refers to the
location where Idaho’s U.S. Congressmen travel or work, Washington DC.
The interpretation is one of state election or
representation, not work location.
Therefore, Article VI, Section 6, states
that (1) all Idaho public officers, except judges, can be recalled by the
voters of the state, or of electoral districts, and (2) the Idaho state
legislature shall pass – this is not a choice, shall means
mandatory – the necessary laws to carry this provision into effect.
legislature passed Recall Statute 34-1701, OFFICERS SUBJECT TO RECALL. “The
following public officers, whether holding their elective office by election
or appointment, and none other, are subject to recall:
(1) State officers:
The governor, lieutenant-governor, secretary of state, state
controller, state treasurer, attorney general, and superintendent of public
Members of the state senate, and members of the state house of
(2) County officers:
The members of the board of county commissioners, sheriff, treasurer,
assessor, prosecuting attorney, clerk of the district court, and coroner.
(3) City officers:
Members of the city council.
Special district elected officers for whom recall procedure is not otherwise
provided by law.”
Idaho’s U.S. Congressmen must fall into
34-1701 (4) above since they are not exempt as judges in Art. VI, Sect.
6 of the Idaho Constitution and they are not provided for in 34-1701 (1) or
(2) or (3) but must be accounted for since the Idaho Constitution says,
“every public officer in the state of Idaho” is subject to recall.
Idaho Constitution, Article VI, Section 6, which mandates Idaho Statute
34-1701 (4), Idaho voters can recall U.S. Senator Larry Craig.
1. Time requirement:
2. Signatures of 50%
of Idaho voters registered in Craig’s last election. -- FM Duck
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