Judiciary Committee Approves Bill Adding Third District Judge in Idaho
The House Judiciary Committee today approved H.R. 6755, legislation that authorizes a third U.S. District judge for Idaho and adds judges to other jurisdictions with judicial emergencies. With Idaho's courts plagued by delays due to an overburdened caseload, securing this legislation has been a top priority of Rep. Raúl Labrador, R-Idaho, a member of the Judiciary Committee. Rep. Labrador introduced H.R. 503 in January 2017 to add a third U.S. District judge for Idaho. He voted for today's legislation.
"Since I first joined the Judiciary Committee in 2013, I have advocated publicly and behind the scenes for a third U.S. District judge for Idaho," said Labrador. "Working closely with Chairman Goodlatte, I introduced legislation that would address this issue and I secured his commitment to get a vote on it. The bill we passed today delivers on that promise, and I am gratified we could make it happen."
From 2015 to 2017, Idaho had just one full-time district court judge and the Judicial Conference of the United States has declared a judicial emergency. To fill the gap, dozens of judges from other states have presided over Idaho cases in recent years.
""Justice delayed is justice denied' is more than an old adage," Labrador added. "The federal courts are essential to our system of government and delay has dire consequences. H.R. 6755 will help the Idaho courts significantly by giving them more resources to ensure fairness and efficiency."
At statehood in 1890, Idaho had one district judge. A second was added in 1954 when the population reached 600,000. Idaho's population is now 1.7 million. With two authorized judgeships, Idaho ranks 90th among the 94 courts. In 2004, a bill adding a third Idaho judge and other judgeships nearly became law. H.R. 6755 authorizes an additional 52 judges nationwide, taking effect on January 22, 2021.