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Otter Echoes AG, Vetoes Bibles-In-Classroom Bill


  • Kelsey Hawes

After spending some of the past week complaining that he and his agencies are often at odds with Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter embraced the advice of the state's top lawyer Tuesday, vetoing Senate Bill 1342, the controversial "Bibles-in-the-classroom" measure.

Otter echoed Wasden's caution that if the bill became state law, Idaho would undoubtedly face costly litigation.

"It's in direct contravention to the Idaho Constitution," Otter said April 5.

As written, the bill was designed to "relieve any fear or anxiety for students, teachers and parents who desire to use religious texts, including the Bible, for reference purposes in public schools."  

Even though the Idaho House and Senate passed SB 1342 by wide margins, Wasden repeatedly pointed to the Idaho Constitution, which states, "No books, papers, tracts or documents of a political, sectarian or denominational character shall be used or introduced in any schools."

Days earlier, Otter told a post-legislative press conference, "I would like to see my agencies have an attorney that they're totally satisfied with," adding, "I would relish a change," supporting a rising tide of Republican criticism of Wasden's guidance.

Meanwhile, Wasden, also a Republican, held firm, asking the Associated Press, "Do voters want attorneys who will be cheerleaders for agencies or attorneys providing legal advice based on the rule of law?"