Idaho’s attorney general says a proposed state bill to give Indian tribes authority to arrest non-tribal citizens on reservations without a county sheriff’s consent would be constitutional.
The Coeur d’Alene Tribe has proposed the bill amid a dispute with Benewah County Sheriff Bob Kirts.
The tribe says Kirts won’t respond to tribal calls for help and refuses to reinstate a cross-deputization pact that unraveled in 2007.
Benewah County and some of its lawmakers have argued giving arrest authority to tribes would violate the constitutional rights of non-tribal citizens.
But Attorney General Lawrence Wasden’s staff concluded such a law wouldn’t displace a sheriff’s authority, but would merely expand how tribal law enforcement could secure “peace officer status.”