BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden says Gov. Brad Little's stay-at-home order to limit the spread of the coronavirus is legal and clearly defined by law.
Wasden says the Republican governor's power to assert such an order is found within Idaho code.
Little issued the 21-day order on March 25. The stay-at-home order required all Idahoans to self-isolate at home when possible and limit non-essential trips, as well as mandated the closing of "non-essential" businesses, including gyms, bars, and dine-in restaurants.
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Some lawmakers and a northern Idaho sheriff had questioned Little's authority to do that, contending it violated the U.S. Constitution.
Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard, called on residents to defy the stay-at-home order, while Bonner County Sheriff Daryl Wheeler then wrote in an open letter to the governor that the constitution was suspended and it must be reinstated in the spirit of liberty.
But in fact, Idaho code gives the governor the power during a declared state of emergency to restrict the movement of people and access to businesses.
Idaho surpassed 1,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus on Friday.
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