The U.S. Senate voted 97-0 today in favor of invoking cloture on the nomination of Judge David Nye to be Idaho’s next U.S. District Court judge, a procedural move that clears the way for a full Senate vote on the confirmation, likely this week. Idaho has been down to just one active federal district judge for more than two years now, since longtime Judge Edward Lodge took senior status on July 3, 2015. The federal court system has declared a judicial emergency in Idaho due to the shortage of judges, and visiting judges have been brought in from other states to hear cases.
Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch negotiated with the Obama Administration for a year and a half before settling on Nye in April of 2016 as a nominee acceptable to both then-President Obama, a Democrat, and the two Idaho senators, both Republicans. The long process included considering and rejecting dozens of other possible nominees. The nomination cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on a unanimous vote in July of 2016, but never came up for a vote in the full Senate, amid partisan squabbling over the president’s judicial nominations. After President Trump took office, in consultation with the Idaho senators, he renominated Nye; the Senate Judiciary Committee forwarded the nomination to the full Senate last month.
Nye, 58, has been an Idaho 6th District judge since 2007; prior to that, he practiced law in Pocatello for 20 years, specializing in medical malpractice and insurance law. He holds both bachelor’s and law degrees from Brigham Young University.