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Idaho gets 2nd federal judge confirmed after years-long wait

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BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Judge David Nye is Idaho's new U.S. District Court judge after being unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday.

Nye was first nominated for the role in 2016, nearly two years after former U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge announced his intent to retire. But the full Senate never voted on the nomination because many GOP lawmakers refused to consider any judicial nominations during the Obama administration's final months. Nye was re-nominated when President Donald Trump took office.

Idaho historically has had just two U.S. District judges, and the court faced an overwhelming workload even before Lodge announced his retirement in 2014.

Lodge continued to work part-time for several months so U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill wouldn't have to shoulder the busy court caseload alone. The court also relied on federal judges from other states, flying them to Boise from Washington state, California, Utah and elsewhere to help keep the court running.

Still, the court was among 34 jurisdictions in a state of "judicial emergency" because the volume of court cases far exceeded the number of judges, according to the Judicial Conference of the United States.

"Judge Nye is a well-respected jurist in Idaho and is heavily involved in the training and orientation of new judges," Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo said in a statement prepared jointly with Sen. Jim Risch.

Nye has worked as a judge in Idaho's 6th District courts for nine years and previously had a private practice focusing on insurance law and medical malpractice litigation. His law degree is from Brigham Young University.

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