BOISE, Idaho (AP) - At least five prominent female Idaho attorneys who applied for an opening on the U.S. District Court bench have not received interviews from the state’s U.S. senators, though four men seeking the job have.
“We are extremely concerned,” said Peg Dougherty, co-chair of the Judicial Recruitment Committee for Idaho Women Lawyers. “Are the senators even aware that Idaho is the only state without a woman on the federal court bench at the district level? If they are aware, do they care?”
U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson, U.S. Magistrate Judge Candy Dale and Boise attorney Terri Pickens Manweiler are among the attorneys who say they completed questionnaires made available by Republican U.S. Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch.
“I did that in January,” Olson told The Spokesman Review newspaper in Spokane, Washington, (https://bit.ly/1dolbH4 ) in a story Tuesday. “And that is the last I have heard. I got a reply email saying they received my application, but other than that, I’ve not been contacted, not heard anything from the senators.”
Dale said she returned the questionnaire in December but has not been contacted. Dale, with her seven-year record as a federal magistrate judge, is a possible front-runner. But she also wrote the decision that overturned Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage, a decision Republicans disliked.
Manweiler said she submitted it in December.
“I heard through the grapevine that I was too progressive for the position, which is patently absurd,” she said. “I’m about as middle-of-the-road as you can get, which is exactly what the position needs.”
The newspaper reports that four men who interviewed for the job declined to comment, as did the senators.
“The judgeship application process is entirely confidential and remains ongoing,” said Risch’s press secretary, Suzanne Wrasse.
Crapo’s press secretary, Lindsay Nothern, said the senators were working through the confidential process.
The senators will make a recommendation, but President Barack Obama will select a nominee who must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
U.S. District Court Judge Edward Lodge notified the president in September that he plans to assume senior status July 3, a choice that allows him to provide volunteer service and handle a reduced number of cases. If a new judge isn’t in place by then, only U.S. District Judge Lynn Winmill would be left.
Information from: The Spokesman-Review, https://www.spokesman.com
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