By Kimberlee Kruesi / Associated Press , KTVB 9:14 AM. MST April 29, 2016
BOISE — The U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson are requesting to weigh in on a class-action lawsuit against Idaho’s public defense system.
The parties earlier this month filed a motion to join the lawsuit on behalf of the United States.
In January, an Idaho judge dismissed the American Civil Liberties Union’s lawsuit seeking to overhaul how the state provides legal representation for indigent defendants as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
The ACLU is now appealing the case.
According to court documents, federal officials argue that the U.S. has a strong interest in ensuring that all jurisdictions fulfill their constitutional obligation in providing legal representation to those who can’t afford it.
The Idaho Legislature passed several reforms earlier this year, including allocating $5.5 million for establishing new standards and providing county grants.