Guest Opinions

Idaho high court candidate McKenzie: ‘I will impartially apply the Constitution’

I am Sen. Curt McKenzie, and I am asking for your vote for the open seat on Idaho’s Supreme Court. The Statesman editorial board’s recent take on the race didn’t address the most important criteria for most Idahoans: whether a Supreme Court justice will apply the Constitution as written. As a justice, I will impartially apply the Constitution as written.

The editorial board expressed concern about the other candidate’s “close ties with and support from the state’s trial lawyers,” but curiously did not inform readers that Robyn Brody had been president of the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association, a close tie indeed. While pointing out her ties with the trial lawyers, the editorial board only told half the story. They did not mention the organizations supporting me in the race, including the Idaho Farm Bureau, the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry, the National Rifle Association, Idaho Chooses Life, the Association of General Contractors, the Idaho Association of Realtors, and the Professional Firefighters of Idaho. I am proud of such broad support from organizations rooted in Idaho agriculture, commerce, values and communities.

The editorial board chose not to discuss the candidates’ academic or work backgrounds. I graduated from an Idaho college, Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa. I received a full-tuition scholarship to attend Georgetown University, where I earned my Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, in the top 10 percent of my law school class. From there I worked for national and regional firms with hundreds of attorneys, prosecuted crimes on behalf of the state of Idaho, and had my own small firm. A strong academic background and a wide range of legal experience are important assets for a Supreme Court justice.

Some members of the editorial board expressed concerns about my service as a Republican state senator from conservative Canyon County. I am proud of my seven terms in the Idaho Senate. Many Supreme Court justices have had a background in elected office, including 31 U.S. Supreme Court justices who served in Congress, and Idaho’s own Jim Jones, who was Idaho’s elected attorney general. As the editorial board stated, “(t)here are ample examples of attorneys who in a previous position had partisan and professional leanings and yet go on to serve admirably and independently.”

My pledge as a justice is to fairly and impartially apply the Constitution and statutes as written. Please vote Curt McKenzie for Idaho Supreme Court justice on Nov. 8.

Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Nampa, is a candidate for the Idaho Supreme Court.