|Member of the Idaho Senate|
from District 7
December 1, 2012 – December 1, 2016
|Preceded by||Dan Johnson|
|Succeeded by||Carl Crabtree|
|Member of the Idaho Senate|
from District 8
December 1, 2010 – December 1, 2012
|Preceded by||Lee Heinrich|
|Succeeded by||Steven Thayn|
|Born||March 7, 1951|
|Alma mater||Gonzaga University|
Sheryl L. Nuxoll (born March 7, 1951) is an American politician from the state of Idaho. A Republican, Nuxoll was a Idaho State Senator from 2010-2012 representing District 8 and then District 7 from 2012 until 2016, when she lost her bid for renomination in the primary.
Early life and career
Nuxoll was born on March 7, 1951, in Cottonwood, Idaho. She worked as a bookkeeper for her father’s business, Hoene Implement, located in Cottonwood, Grangeville, and Pierce. She received a bachelor's degree in business from Gonzaga University in 1973. in 1973.
Nuxoll has worked as a part-time high school teacher since 2008; she has also worked as a bookkeeper.
Idaho Senate District 7
Redistricted to new Senate District 7, Nuxoll won the May 2012 Republican primary with 4,084 votes (73.2%).
In the November 2012 general election, Nuxoll won 11,583 votes (64.0%), defeating independent candidate Jon Cantamessa, who received 6,522 votes (36.0%).
Idaho Senate District 8
Nuxoll won the Republican primary with 56.9% of the vote against Leland G. "Lee" Heinrich.
Nuxoll was a vice chair of the Senate Health & Welfare Committee and a member of the Finance Committee and Resources & Environment Committee.
In 2012, Nuxoll spent $890 in taxpayer funds to mail an end-of-session brochure to Republican voters only. The mailing, which promoted her activities in office and thanked her supporters, was sent to both the district she represented (Senate District 8), and the district in which she was running for re-election (Senate District 7). State legislators are permitted to send out such taxpayer-funded mailings for informational purposes but not for political campaigning. After the mailing came to public attention, Nuxoll reimbursed the state for the cost.
In November 2012, after Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney lost the presidential election to Barack Obama, Nuxoll called upon states that supported Romney "to refuse to participate in the Electoral College" in an bid to reverse the election result and have Romney become president. The notion, which originated in a blog post by Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips, was viewed as highly unlikely. Constitutional scholar David Adler of Boise State University said that the idea was "really a strange and bizarre fantasy" and was based on a misreading of the Twelfth Amendment. Nuxoll dismissed the criticism, accused Obama of "depriving us of our freedoms by all the agencies," and stated "what I'm thinking is the states are going to have to stand up for our individual rights and for our collective rights."
In January 2013, Nuxoll, sent a mass email and Tweet comparing the Affordable Care Act to the Holocaust and likening health insurers' participation in state health insurance marketplaces to "the Jews boarding the trains to concentration camps." The Anti-Defamation League criticized Nuxoll's remarks. Nuxoll defended her remarks, asserting that the legislation was "replacing capitalism with socialism."
In March 2015, Nuxoll became embroiled in controversy after she stated that Hinduism was "a false faith with false gods" and, along with fellow state senators Steve Vick and Lori Den Hartog, refused to attend a session of the legislature that commenced with a Hindu invocation prayer given by Hindu cleric Rajan Zed. Despite calls for her to apologize from a wide variety of religious leaders, Nuxoll stood by her remarks.
In 2015, Nuxoll led an effort to kill child support legislation to amend Idaho law to comply with federal law and the Hague Convention on International Recovery of Child Support and Family Maintenance. Nuxoll claimed, inaccurately, that the measure would force Idaho to recognize Sharia law. The push against the legislation by Nuxoll and others sharply divided Republican state legislators in Idaho. State Representative Luke Malek of Coeur d'Alene, for example, was critical of Nuxoll and her allies, called their maneuvers "heavy-handed opportunistic theatrics at the expense of single-parents and children." Nuxoll and the eight other state legislators that sought to block the bill were also criticized by Spokesman-Review columnist Shawn Vestal, who wrote that the effort was a "paranoid, conspiracy-minded action" by far-right legislators in response to an "imaginary crisis." The initial defeat of the legislation forced Governor Butch Otter to call a special session of the legislature to pass the bill; during the special session, Nuxoll was one of only two senators to vote against the legislation.
In 2016, Nuxoll sponsored SB 1342, a bill to establish the Christian Bible as an official state text in schools. Nuxoll's bill stated that the Bible was a good reference book for students learning "astronomy, biology, geology" and other subjects. The bill was strongly criticized by the ACLU of Idaho. The bill was vetoed by Governor Otter—one of the very few times that Otter has used his veto power. The governor noted in his veto message that the state attorney general had concluded that Nuxoll's bill would violate the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, and stated that the bill was in "direct contravention" of a state constitutional provision barring the state from preferring "any religious establishment or mode of worship." The governor also stated that Nuxoll's bill would could lead to "costly litigation for Idaho public schools."
In 2012, Nuxoll sponsored legislation to force women to undergo an ultrasound before obtaining an abortion; the measure was unsuccessful. In 2016, Nuxoll sponsored different anti-abortion legislation to require abortion providers to give patients a list of places where they can receive a free ultrasound; these locations are controversial anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers, which are not required to have medically trained staff and give inaccurate information about the health effects of abortions. The legislation passed the Senate on a 28-7 party-line vote and was signed into law by Governor Butch Otter.
- "Senate Membership". Idaho Legislature. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
- "Senator Sheryl L. Nuxoll's Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved January 17, 2011.
- "May 15, 2012 Primary Election Results". Boise, Idaho: Secretary of State of Idaho.
- November 6, 2012 General Election Results, Secretary of State of Idaho.
- George Prentice, Idaho Primary: The Far-Right Wing of the Idaho GOP Has a Rough Night, Boise Weekly (May 18, 2016).
- Betsy Z. Russell, Primary takes out three N. Idaho lawmakers, independent campaign may have backfired, Spokesman-Review (May 18, 2016).
- "November 2, 2010 General Election Results". Boise, Idaho: Secretary of State of Idaho.
- "2010 Primary Results legislative". www.sos.idaho.gov. Retrieved 2017-05-04.
- Betsy Z. Russell, Idaho senator sends state-funded letter to new district, Spokesman-Review (May 2, 2012).
- Betsy Z. Russell, New district gets state-funded mailing, Spokesman-Review (May 3, 2012).
- Betsy Z. Russell, Idaho senator repays state for letter to GOP voters, Spokesman-Review (June 14, 2012).
- Betsy Z. Russell, Nuxoll pays Senate for mailer costs, Spokesman-Review (June 15, 2012).
- Betsy Z. Russell, Eye on Boise: Lawmaker shares far-fetched idea to elect Romney, Spokesman-Review (November 25, 2012).
- No, there's no 'last chance' to elect Romney, MSNBC (November 28, 2012).
- Associated Press, Idaho pol: Health care like Holocaust (January 31, 2013).
- Betsy Z. Russell, Idaho senator compares health exchange to Holocaust, Spokesman-Review (January 30, 2013).
- ADL Troubled by Idaho State Senator’s Remarks Comparing President Obama’s Health Care Plan to the Holocaust (press release), Anti-Defamation League (January 31, 2013).
- Ben Ysursa, Sheryl Nuxoll, Idaho GOP State Senator, Compares Health Care To The Holocaust, Huffington Post (January 31, 2013).
- State senator not sorry about Hinduism comments Archived 2015-03-09 at the Wayback Machine, Associated Press/KTVB (March 6, 2015).
- Jews Slam Idaho Lawmaker for Hindu 'False Faith' Claim, Jewish Telegraphic Agency (March 18, 2015).
- Katie Zavadski, GOP to GOP: 'Sharia Law' Fearmongering Helping Deadbeat Dads, The Daily Beast (April 15, 2015).
- Child support bill killed by Idaho legislators fearful of Islamic law, Associated Press (April 10, 2015).
- Kimberlee Kruesi, Officials react after concerns over Islamic law nix proposal, Associated Press (April 13, 2015).
- Harrison Berry & George Prentice, War of Words Ignites Among Idaho GOP In Wake of Defeat of Child Support Measure, Boise Weekly (April 12, 2015).
- Shawn Vestal, Imaginary crisis averted, Idaho's real kids suffer, Spokesman-Review (April 17, 2015).
- Daniel Walters, How a Spokane Valley pastor and a right-wing group helped land Idaho's legislature in special session, The Inlander (May 18, 2015).
- D.F. Oliveria, Nuxoll pushes school Bible bill, The Spokesman-Review (February 11, 2016).
- 'Bible Bill is constitutionally sound': Veto reactions: Sen. Nuxoll, ACLU of Idaho, Idaho County Free Press (April 12, 2016).
- Betsy Z. Russell, Senator’s bill says Bible a good school reference book for ;astronomy, biology, geology,' more, Spokesman-Review (February 11, 2016).
- Governors Veto Official-Bible Bills, Lowering the Bar (April 15, 2016).
- Betsy Z. Russell, AG's opinion: Bible-in-schools bill ‘specifically prohibited’ by Idaho Constitution, Spokesman-Review (March 17, 2016).
- Betsy Z. Russell, Idaho's forced ultrasound bill may be dead, Spokesman-Review (March 22, 2012).
- Bryan Clark, Ultrasound bill awaits Otter's signature, Post Register (March 17, 2016).
- Betsy Z. Russell, Idaho free-ultrasound bill wins final approval, goes to governor, Spokesman-Review (March 17, 2016).
- Bill Dentzer, Idaho's Otter signs off on required ultrasound notification, stalking protection, Idaho Statesman (April 1, 2016).
- Dan Popkey, Go Zags! Capitol's small cadre of Gonzaga fans celebrate No. 1 ranking,Idaho Statesman (March 4, 2013).