(KLIX) – Two senators from Idaho have introduced legislation to appoint an additional federal judge in the Gem State. It’d be the first time in more than 60 years that Idaho would have more than two federal judges.
Sens. Mike Crap and Jim Risch introduced the legislation this week, saying the state faces a judicial emergency based on the weighted caseload numbers per active judge.
“The ability to deliver justice to people in Idaho has been severely delayed due to the lack of a third federal district judge,” Crapo, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a prepared statement.
“Judges from other districts have stepped in to assist but the amount of cases and related legal work is causing judge and court employees in Idaho and from neighboring districts to work many overtime hours. Idaho must be granted a third judge to meet the demands being required.”
The challenges for Idaho have been longstanding, the senators said in the news release, and faces further difficulties and shortages with current judges reaching retirement eligibility.
Reps. Mike Simpson and Russ Fulcher introduced similar legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives last week. Only two other states, North Dakota and Vermont, have two authorized judge seats for the entire state.
Risch said adding a third district judge in Idaho is “common sense and would help administer efficient and effective justice in our state.”