For the first time, Idahoans Friday were able to watch a televised account of Democratic and Republican state senators fighting for control of the chamber before the Idaho Supreme Court.

Oral arguments were scheduled to be televised on the Idaho Educational Public Television network. Arguments from the lawyers pre-empted normal programming on the public broadcast stations at Boise, Moscow and Pocatello.The public broadcast network said it's believed to be the first time a proceeding of the Idaho Supreme Court was telecast live.

The Senate is tied with 21 members of each party. Republican Lt. Gov. Butch Otter broke the tie at last week's organizing session, and Republicans took control of the chamber. The GOP used Otter's vote to create a new committee, Senate Ways and Means, giving itself a majority on that panel and de facto operating control of the Senate.

Democrats filed a lawsuit over it, contending Otter has no authority to vote on anything except legislation. It asks for an order declaring the organizing session void, requiring a new organizing session.