A group of Idahoans took a stand on the federal court steps in Boise challenging any preferential treatment BP may receive in upcoming lawsuits.
On July 29, a panel of federal judges was expected to decide how to handle hundreds of lawsuits filed against BP resulting from the Gulf oil spill. Boise was chosen as the site for the meeting of the special panel, formally known as the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, as part of a regularly scheduled rotation among federal courts.
The small group of protesters, made up mostly of Idaho Falls residents, huddled on the courthouse steps carrying signs that read “Justice for the Gulf” and “Spill baby spill” referring to the April 20, Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and spill.
AntiBP-Mob spokesman Daniel Casper said he is concerned BP has specifically requested one of the judges being considered to oversee the lawsuits. He said that judge might have ties to the oil and gas industry.
According to the group’s Web site, the judge is Lynn Hughes of Houston.
“We want a judge without any ties or BP connections. We don’t want BP to escape the consequences. People affected by the spill deserve fair representation,” Casper said.
Casper’s wife, Analise Casper, said the oil spill’s repercussions affect everyone, even people living thousands of miles away in Idaho.
“I have a daughter. This is just something that won’t just affect our generation, but future generations,” she said.
Despite the smallness of the gathering, Elena Soto of Idaho Falls said size didn’t matter as much as the overall message the protesters are trying to send.
“We want them taking responsibility for all their actions and own up to everything,” she said.