Guest column submitted by U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch
In spite of the hyper-partisan climate in our nation’s capital, in a unanimous, bipartisan vote of 100-0, the U.S. Senate recently confirmed Judge David Nye to serve as the next United States District Judge for the District of Idaho. Judge Nye’s overwhelming confirmation is a great benefit for Idaho, which has been shorthanded in managing rising caseloads.
This confirmation is important for our state to help administer the law. For the past two years, Idaho has had a three-judge caseload handled by just one active judge. Additionally, Idaho is one of only three states having just two authorized district court judgeships. Idaho’s population and judicial caseload has grown substantially since the second district judgeship was authorized more than 60 years ago. The nonpartisan Judicial Conference of the U.S. has declared a “judicial emergency” for Idaho and has recommended in every one of its reports to Congress since 2003 that Idaho be authorized a third district judge position.
To address the need for an additional judge in Idaho, the Idaho Congressional Delegation continues to press for the addition of a third judgeship. In January, we introduced S. 209 to add a judge to Idaho’s federal court system. Representative Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and Representative Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) have introduced similar legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Judge Nye’s extensive experience speaks to his qualifications for the judgeship. He has served as a judge for Idaho's Sixth Judicial District since 2007, and he also has 20 years of experience in private practice litigation. The American Bar Association rated Judge Nye as unanimously “well-qualified.” We had the opportunity to highlight his strong qualifications and the growing need to complete his confirmation in recent remarks before the full Senate.
His qualifications and reputation have not only led to him being the first U.S. district judge confirmed by the 115th Congress, but also led to him attaining the rare achievement of being nominated by presidents of different parties. Judge Nye was nominated by President Donald Trump to fill the open U.S. District Court judgeship in Idaho. He was previously nominated to the same position by President Barack Obama in 2016 and approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee. The 114th Congress concluded without completing the confirmation process.
We congratulate Judge Nye on his confirmation and thank President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-California), and all of our Senate colleagues for Judge Nye’s confirmation. We look forward to his continued service to Idahoans in the advancement of justice.