The Senate earlier this week voted 54-43 for cloture and 56-43 to confirm Ronnie White to the Eastern District of Missouri. White -- the first African American to serve on the Missouri Supreme Court -- was first nominated to the Eastern District of Missouri 17 years ago by President Bill Clinton. His nomination was defeated when then-Senator John Ashcroft accused him of being soft on crime.
The Senate Judiciary Committee on July 17 voted to send three nominees on to the full Senate:
- Pamela Harris, nominated to the Fourth Circuit (Maryland), by a vote of 10-8;
- Pamela Pepper, nominated to the Eastern District of Wisconsin, by a voice vote; and
- Brenda K. Sannes, nominated to the Northern District of New York, by a voice vote.
There are now a total of 60 current vacancies and 24 future vacancies (including one vacancy that will become current if a sitting district court judge is elevated to a circuit court). There are 28 pending nominees, one of who is nominated to a future vacancy. There are 22 judicial emergencies. Thirteen nominees remain pending on the Senate floor.