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News >  Idaho

Idaho senators calling for applicants to be Idaho’s next federal district judge

BOISE - Idaho Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch are asking people interested in becoming Idaho’s next federal district judge – replacing longtime U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge when he takes senior status next summer – to fill out a questionnaire and send it in to their offices. “We’ve had some interest,” said Lindsay Nothern, spokesman for Crapo. President Barack Obama will name the next judge, and there’s no guarantee he’ll pick the Idaho GOP senators’ nominee, but the Senate does confirm the choice and generally defers to the state’s Senate delegation on the pick. Crapo’s office says the ideal nominee would be someone “amenable to both parties.” It’s a lifetime appointment. Lodge, Idaho’s longest serving judge ever, will take senior status on July 3, 2015; between his state and federal service, he’s been on the bench more than 50 years. Idaho hasn’t had a new federal district judge appointed since 1995, when current U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill was named to the court. He succeeded the late U.S. District Judge Harold Ryan, who took senior status in 1992. Typically, the highest-ranking member of Idaho’s congressional delegation who is of the same party as the president would play a key role in the nomination, but Idaho doesn’t have any Democrats in its delegation; Crapo and Risch both are Republicans. “So basically the president will work with the delegation,” Nothern said. “They’re not obligated to take whoever we pick. We’re just going to assist in the process and get some names forward. … Basically, it’s a Senate confirmation process, the White House knows that, and they generally will work with us.” The two Idaho senators have informed the White House that they’re starting the process, Nothern said. Among the questions in the questionnaire: Education, employment record, honors or awards, bar and court admission, potential conflicts of interest, political activities and affiliations, and pro bono work, which refers to legal work done without charge to serve the disadvantaged. “I don’t know that we have specific credentials in mind,” Nothern said. “It’s just really a process to get names, to get folks into a queue so they can be evaluated.” Anyone interested in applying can send an email to judgeship_crapo@crapo.senate.gov or judgeship_risch@risch.senate.gov to request a questionnaire. Federal district judges currently make $199,100 a year; they received their first raise this year since 2009, when the salary increased to $174,000.
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