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Huckleberries Online

Idaho still without new federal judge

A Boise attorney who was a controversial prospect for Idaho’s vacant federal judgeship is no longer being considered, multiple sources say. Meanwhile, down to just one U.S. District Court judge, the court in Idaho is bringing in visiting judges from Colorado, Washington, California and elsewhere to hear Idaho cases while the court awaits an appointee to replace longtime Judge Edward Lodge. It’s a situation Idaho’s lone sitting federal judge calls “a crisis.” Lodge took senior status on July 3 and has reduced his caseload to 75 percent; he announced his plans in September 2014. In July, the federal court system declared a “judicial emergency” in Idaho because of the shortage of judges. Now, multiple sources confirm that Boise attorney Erika Malmen, after several months of vetting, is no longer being considered for the lifetime appointment. Instead, the White House is vetting an alternate candidate proposed by GOP Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch, Idaho 5th District Administrative Judge G. Richard Bevan/Betsy Russell, Eye on Boise. More here.

Question: Do you ever wonder why U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch are dragging their feet on the federal judge appointment? Does it matter to you?

D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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