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“All fundamental constitutional rights are, as a matter of law, ‘essential.’” 


“There is a self-evident constitutional problem when beer, wine, whiskey, guns, and abortions are permitted in Idaho (see Section 8 of the Stay-Home Order), but an ordinary Sunday church service, the same as has been practiced since the Pilgrims arrived here, is illegal.” 

The MacPherson Group, together with North Idaho freedom-fighting attorney D. Colton Boyles of Boyles Law PLLC, has filed suit against Idaho Governor Brad Little and Director of Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Dave Jeppesen, challenging the constitutionality of Idaho’s COVID-19 “Stay-Home Order.”


MacPherson and Boyles allege that, “the Stay-Home Order has been interpreted by local law enforcement such that most churches have closed and most religious gatherings have ceased, and those that continue do so under actual threat of intervention by local and state law enforcement.” 


Even though the Governor has begun to “reopen Idaho,” the Order still discriminates against religious activities, considering them as not “essential,” though religious freedom is a fundamental right, both under Idaho law and federal law.


The aim of the lawsuit is to have the Order struck down as unconstitutional and send the message that no government official should ever even consider attacking such fundamental constitutional rights. The Governor prohibited church services during Lent and Easter. Will he attempt to do so again during Advent and Christmas?


If we do not stand up for our constitutional rights now, will our children even have the freedom to petition the government for redress of grievances?


“The voice of tradition, I trust, will inform posterity of our struggles for freedom. If our descendants be worthy the name of Americans they will preserve and hand down to their latest posterity the transactions of the present times; and tho I confess my exclamations are not worthy the hearing, they will see that I have done my utmost to preserve their liberty….” (Patrick Henry, “Liberty or Empire?” second speech to the Virginia Convention of 1788, June 5, 1788, advocating for a Bill of Rights to the Constitution.)

Judgment and Decision 1/7/2021

“As much as the Court would relish the opportunity to address issues of religious freedom, free speech, assembly, travel, and the other matters presented in this case, the Court is constrained from doing so...On the one hand, having these words in the various orders does not allow the Director to impose unconstitutional measures—which this Court could quickly enjoin if asked to do so in an expedited motion….While the Court holds dear the constitutional rights asserted in this case, and all constitutional rights for that matter, it cannot proceed to adjudicate this case under these circumstances. That said, because the Court cannot predict what the future will hold (as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic), it dismisses this case without prejudice. In the unlikely event that the complained-of restrictions are imposed once more, Plaintiffs would be within their rights to file a new complaint, motions for emergency injunctions or temporary restraining orders, and all other forms of relief they properly wish to seek.”

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