Idaho has a new federal district judge, at long last; new Judge David Nye was sworn in this morning in a private ceremony in Pocatello, and is expected to immediately take on a full caseload. A public investiture ceremony will be scheduled in the coming weeks.
9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Randy Smith, a former law partner of Nye’s, administered the oath this morning.
Nye replaces longtime Judge Edward Lodge, who took senior status on July 3, 2015. While a new appointment was awaited, Idaho was left for more than two years with just one active U.S. district judge - though court and Idaho officials long have argued the caseload in the district actually warrants a third judgeship. The federal court system declared a judicial emergency in Idaho due to the shortage of judges, and visiting judges were brought in from other states to hear cases.
Nye, who was nominated by President Obama and cleared a Senate committee hearing with unanimous support, never came up for a confirmation vote in the full Senate before Obama left office; at the urging of Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, President Trump re-nominated him, and he was the first U.S. district judge confirmed by the current Congress on July 12.