Idaho senators proposed legislation to give Idaho a third federal district judgeship in order to alleviate the caseload for federal court in the state. Idaho currently has two district court judges: David C. Nye and one vacant seat.

According to a press release, Jim Risch, one of Idaho’s senators said, “Idaho’s population and judicial emergency has grown substantially since the last district judge was added nearly seventy years ago. This has put Idaho and its legal system at a great disadvantage. The addition of a third district judge in Idaho is common sense and would help administer efficient and effective justice in our state.”

The Judicial Conference of the U.S. has found Idaho to have high caseloads for the number of active judges for the last twenty years.

“Idaho’s growing population requires an additional judgeship to ensure effective access to the resources that provide justice in our state,” said Mike Crapo, Idaho’s second senator. “This need has been widely recognized for years, and it is past time we provide the District of Idaho with a third district judge and personnel to keep up with an ever-growing caseload.”

District judges conduct trials and manage the pretrial process by determining what evidence can be used in court, crafting jury selection procedures and issuing convictions if trials result in convictions.

District Courts and district court judges serve as the entryway into the federal court system. They are appointed by the president of the United States and serve “in good behavior,” which usually means for life or until retirement.