Idaho Public Radio's McGeachin and Little battle over COVID-related executive orders — again details a situation where as soon as Idaho's Governor left the state on official business the Lieutenant Governor acted to reverse the governor actions.

The article links to this tweeted statement (image of text) which begins:

I am in Texas performing my duties as the duly elected Governor of Idaho, and I have not authorized the Lt. Governor to act on my behalf...

In a military chain of command, this would be challenged and swiftly dealt with.

In a corporate chain of command, probably the same. In the 21st century, traveling on business is not an automatic relinquishing of authority.

But this is politics, and these are elected officials. So I'd like to ask:

Question: Why doesn't the Governor of the US state of Idaho fire the Lt. Governor for insubordination? Can they be punished in any way at all?

Or is the maximum remedy (for the moment) simply reversing the Lt. Governor's action and going after them in political ways via statements?

  • 1
    @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica ya I understand, but in cases where the two things are so close and related, can be addressed together likely by the same answer drawing from the same sources, I think it benefits future readers to just have them together.
    – uhoh
    Oct 6, 2021 at 21:36
  • @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica thank you for your concern on the question, and for not down voting :-)
    – uhoh
    Oct 6, 2021 at 21:37

1 Answer 1


Because it is an elected position and he does not have the authority to fire an an elected official. As an elected position is chosen by the people the governor does not have the authority to change that. It is possible that the governor and lt governor are from different parties by the will of the people.

As a side note even if the governor appoints someone there may be rules in place that prevents them from getting fired or limits what they can be fired for.

As for punishment I don't see anything that can be done. Unless there is a law or regulation that is being broke the only thing that can be done is for the voters to not elect them back to office.


  • @uhoh Since they are an elected offical and not someone who works for the governor I would think no.
    – Joe W
    Oct 6, 2021 at 21:10
  • I think the reversed executive order should be voided automatically as it was done in an unlawful manner - change the superior's order while the superior is still in charge. I don't think any law/rule will permit that action. But I don't know if there is a clause for punishment, maybe under forgery or something similar? The act shall be at least be reprimanded.
    – r13
    Oct 6, 2021 at 22:24
  • @r13 That is a different matter altogether and I have no clue why they make the lt governor just because the governor is out of state. But since that is the written in the state constitution it is perfectly legal. From what I understand the actual governor has already canceled it.
    – Joe W
    Oct 6, 2021 at 22:32
  • 1
    @Joe W: Probably the "acting governor" provisions were written in the days before things like air & auto travel, video conferencing, or even telephones, so the governor being out of state essentially meant out of reach. Thus someone had to be empowered to act in cases of emergency. Of course the fix for the Idaho problem is simple: the governor just doesn't leave the state.
    – jamesqf
    Oct 7, 2021 at 3:57
  • 2
    @jamesqf that's a workaround. A fix would be to change the rules to reflect the modern world
    – Caleth
    Oct 7, 2021 at 10:47

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