The nomination of Idaho Judge David Nye to be the state’s next U.S. District Judge is on the agenda for the Senate Judiciary Committee’s meeting this Thursday. However, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee a vote on Thursday; the committee’s rules allow any new business appearing on the agenda for the first time to be held over for a week, and that’s often been the case with nominations.
“We’re just hoping for a vote as soon as possible,” said Lindsay Nothern, spokesman for Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo. “He’s been before the committee, things seemed to go well. So we’re just hoping. … Sometimes these things can be done relatively quickly … if there’s no opposition.”
Idaho has been down to just one active federal district judge since July of 2015, when longtime Judge Edward Lodge took senior status. Both Crapo and Idaho Sen. Jim Risch have been pushing for not only confirming Nye to replace Lodge – the two senators and the White House agreed on the nominee after a long process that included considering and rejecting dozens of other possible nominees – but also for the state to get a third federal district judge, given its caseload. The federal courts have declared a “judicial emergency” in Idaho due to the lack of judicial resources, and out-of-state judges are being brought in to hear Idaho cases.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s agenda for Thursday includes three judicial nominees, all of whom appeared before the committee for hearing on June 21: Jennifer Klemetsrud Puhl, nominated for the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals; Donald C. Coggins, Jr., nominated to be a federal judge for the District of South Carolina; and Nye.
The Senate is tentatively scheduled to begin its August break in two weeks, from which it would not return until September.