Idaho's two congressmen have introduced a bill to appoint one more federal district judge in Idaho, increasing the number from two to three.

The bill, which was introduced Thursday and has been sent to the House Judiciary Committee, would address a need in a state that has had two federal court districts since 1954, when the state population was a little less than a third of what it is now.

“As the legal community in Idaho well knows, the state of Idaho is facing a federal judicial crisis,” U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson, who represents eastern and central Idaho in Congress, said in a statement. “We are one of just three states in the nation with only two federal judge seats for the entire state. This means our federal judges have an extraordinary caseload and high number of weighted filings per judgeship. As we all know, justice delayed is justice denied, and it is beyond time to authorize another judgeship for Idaho.”

Simpson and others, including U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador, who represented western Idaho before Fulcher, have been pushing for a third federal judge for Idaho for years. Last year a bill made it through the House Judiciary Committee but didn't get a vote in the full House. Idaho U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch have also introduced similar legislation in the past.

“This initiative is a great way to start the new Congress, working alongside my fellow Idahoan, Congressman Simpson, to alleviate our state’s judicial backlog,” said Fulcher. “Appointing an additional judge will help to lessen the growing backlog of cases, deliver quicker service to our constituents, and make our judicial system more efficient. This shortage has faced Idaho for far too long, and I am pleased to make this effort one of my first actions in Congress.”

Author: Nathan Brown

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