In a split decision focused on the separation of legislative and judicial powers, the Idaho Supreme Court has decided a legal squabble between District 29 State Senator Marcus Nye and political challenger Tom Katsilometes.
After a challenge from Katsilometes, the Idaho Senate determined Nye won the 2016 election and directed Katsiolometes to pay Nye’s costs for witness fees, the cost of discovery, and attorneys fees. Katsilometes paid the costs but did not pay attorney fees.
Nye followed with a lawsuit asking the court to order Katsilometes to pay the fees awarded by the Senate. The district court entered an amended judgment and awarded Nye a total of $35,372.28. Katsilometes appealed that decision.
The high court determined, by a 4-2 decision, the Idaho Senate did not have authority to award attorney fees.