Senators Speak in Advance of Final Confirmation Vote
WASHINGTON – In remarks today before the full Senate, Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch spoke of the widely-respected legal experience and service of Judge David C. Nye. Currently serving as a Idaho Sixth District Judge, Nye has been nominated to serve as Idaho's next U.S. District Judge. The Senate voted 97-0 on Monday to advance the nomination to a final confirmation vote Wednesday.
“Judge Nye is a supremely qualified candidate for a federal district court seat, having both a unanimous “well qualified” rating from the American Bar Association and enjoyed approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee without dissent twice in a little less than a year,” said Crapo, a member of the panel. “It is rare to be nominated by presidents of different parties, but it is a fitting testament to Judge Nye’s sterling reputation that he has secured that distinction. I appreciate the Majority Leader giving Judge Nye the honor of being the first U.S. district judge confirmed by the 115th Congress.”
“I want to personally thank the White House for very quickly re-nominating Judge Nye for this position, at the request of myself and Senator Crapo,” said Senator Risch. “Judge Nye will be a person who will make us all proud. Certainly we're going to be very happy to have this judgeship filled in Idaho and particularly with someone of the quality of Judge Nye.”
Video of Senator Crapo’s and Senator Risch’s comments can be viewed by clicking the image above. Both senators’ remarks follow below.
Statement of Senator Mike Crapo
Nomination of Judge David C. Nye to be U.S. District Judge for Idaho
July 11, 2017
Mr. President, I rise to speak on the nomination of Judge David Nye to be a U.S. district judge for the Federal District of Idaho.
First, let me acknowledge the diligent work of Judiciary Committee Chairman Grassley and Ranking Member Feinstein in expediting the confirmation process for Judge Nye’s re-nomination.
I also thank both President Obama and President Trump for nominating Judge Nye to the federal bench. It is rare to be nominated by presidents of different parties, but it is a fitting testament to Judge Nye’s sterling reputation that he has secured that distinction. Finally, I appreciate the Majority Leader giving Judge Nye the honor of being the first U.S. district judge confirmed by the 115th Congress.
Judge Nye is a supremely qualified candidate for a federal district court seat, having both a unanimous “well qualified” rating from the American Bar Association and having received approval from the Senate Judiciary Committee without dissent twice in a little less than a year.
Judge Nye has long been ready to assume this high office. A longtime member of Idaho’s legal community, Judge Nye has been a law clerk, a practicing lawyer, and, since 2007, a judge on Idaho’s Sixth District Court. The court handles all felony criminal cases, major civil cases, and appeals from the Magistrate Court from six counties in the southeast portion of Idaho. He also served, from 2009 to 2012, as the Administrative District Judge for the Idaho Sixth Judicial District, elected by his peers on the Court for the three-year term position.
He is not just a well-respected jurist in Idaho. Judge Nye is heavily involved in the training and orientation of new Idaho judges and serves on the Idaho Supreme Court’s committees on judicial education and felony sentencing.
Action on Judge Nye’s nomination is critical and timely. Idaho is one of only three states having just two authorized district court judgeships. The nonpartisan Judicial Conference of the U.S. has declared a judicial emergency for Idaho and has recommended in every one of its reports to Congress since 2003 that Idaho be authorized a third district judge position.
And, for the past two years, Idaho has had a three-judge caseload handled by just one active judge. What is even more challenging is that our lone remaining active judge is already eligible to take senior status since this past March. Even with Judge Nye’s confirmation, Idaho still needs another U.S. district court judge.
Today’s confirmation of Judge Nye is undoubtedly a proud day for the entire Nye family, including Judge Nye’s wife, Katre, and their eight children. Knowing that a successful public servant draws so much strength from the family surrounding him or her, I salute their partnership with Judge Nye in making this important occasion possible.
Again, I strongly endorse Judge Nye’s nomination and appreciate the Senate’s confirmation of him. Thank you, Mr. President.
Statement of Senator Jim Risch
Nomination of Judge David C. Nye to be U.S. District Judge for Idaho
July 11, 2017
“Mr. President, I want to associate myself with the remarks from my distinguished colleague and close personal friend, Senator Crapo. I join him in urging our fellow senators to quickly confirm Judge Nye. As pointed out by Senator Crapo, this will be the first district judge who is confirmed by this congress; this should be an honor for Judge Nye, and I'm sure he views it that way.
“This [vote] has literally been years in the making. As Senator Crapo pointed out, we only have one active federal judge right now [in Idaho], and he is handling what is essentially a three-judge load. Some time ago when this vacancy occurred, Senator Crapo and I went to work. Most Americans don't understand the process, but to become a United States District Judge, it takes essentially the concurrence of three people. That is, the President of the United States and the two senators from that particular state, be they two Republicans, two Democrats or one of each. This is because we have what's called a blue slip process, where any one of the three can, and do, object to a person, and then that person will not be permitted to go forward.
“In this particular case, we negotiated with the Obama White House for literally months, and those months turned into years. We acted, I believe, in good faith on both sides trying to find a person who would be the right fit for Idaho. We vetted well over 50 individuals for this position, and for one reason or another, we were unable to get any of those across the finish line. … After going through the 50 [individuals] that we vetted and really not getting where we wanted to be, we sought out Judge Nye and talked with him about it, and went forward on that basis. The White House came along, and before President Obama left office, he nominated Judge Nye, pursuant to mine and Senator Crapo's requests. Unfortunately, we ran out of time processing judges [before the end of the Congress]. So the election came and went, President Trump was inaugurated and we started [the process] all over again.
“I want to personally thank the White House for very quickly re-nominating Judge Nye for this position, again at the request of myself and Senator Crapo. Too many states have a shortage of judges, and there is a movement afoot right now to attempt to boost the federal judgeship load, which is in bad need. For instance, in the last seven surveys that the judicial conference has undertaken, they recommended that Idaho get a third judge. Senator Crapo and I, my predecessor before me, and I think even Senator Crapo's predecessor before him, have all been pushing for this third judge, and we'll continue to do that. I’m seeing some green sprouts that perhaps will be moving something in that direction.
“Yesterday, we had the vote on moving forward Nye’s nomination, and that vote passed 97-0, which certainly is a testament to Judge Nye himself. I would urge our fellow senators when we get to this vote, which will be either later today or midday tomorrow, to proceed with the same kind of vote. It was a bipartisan vote on cloture. We hope it will remain a bipartisan vote as we move forward on his confirmation.
“With that, I want to thank Senator Grassley, who is obviously pressed by everyone who has a vacancy, and Senator McConnell, who has lots and lots of things on his mind these days and is struggling with challenges that come at him from all directions, for choosing Judge Nye at our constant and gentle urging over the recent months and years to move him to the front of the line. I want to personally thank Senator McConnell for doing that. And of course I want to thank my distinguished colleague [Mike Crapo] for his work on the Judiciary Committee moving it through the process. I think that Judge Nye will be a person who will make us all proud. Certainly we're going to be very happy to have this judgeship filled in Idaho and particularly with someone of the quality of Judge Nye. With that, Mr. President, I yield the floor.”
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