On The Bench: Week of July 11, 2024

The Senate returned from recess this week and made limited progress on judicial confirmations. As of this writing, the Senate confirmed one Article III nominee this week: Judge Nancy Maldonado (7th Cir.). Judge Maldonado becomes the first Hispanic person to ever serve as a judge on the Seventh Circuit.

Despite limited progress on the Senate floor, the Senate Judiciary Committee continues to process judicial nominations. On Wednesday, the Committee held a hearing for three Article III nominees: Mary Kay Costello (E.D. Pa.), Laura Margarete Provinzino (D. Minn.), and Judge Noël Wise (N.D. Cal.). These nominees are now eligible for a full committee vote.

On Thursday, the Committee held an executive business meeting where it successfully advanced eight Article III nominees to the Senate floor: Judge Michelle Williams Court (C.D. Cal.), Judge Anne Hwang (C.D. Cal.), Stacey Neumann (D. Me.), Judge Cynthia Valenzuela (C.D. Cal.), Magistrate Judge Embry Kidd (11th Cir.), Magistrate Judge Adam Abelson (D. Md.), Magistrate Judge Joseph Saporito Jr. (M.D. Pa.), and Judge Meredith Vacca (W.D.N.Y.). All these nominees are now eligible for cloture and confirmation votes.

Since the last On the Bench, the White House released the newest slate of Article III nominees. The slate had four nominees: Ryan Park (4th Cir.), Byron Conway (E.D. Wis.), Magistrate Judge Jonathan Hawley (C.D. Ill.), and Judge Gail Weilheimer.

As of July 11, there are 72 Article III vacancies, 48 of which are current. Once the latest nominees are officially nominated, there will be 33 pending nominees: 17 waiting for floor votes, 8 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 8 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 202 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.

On The Bench: Week of June 20, 2024

In part due to the truncated work week, the Senate made limited progress on judicial confirmations this week. As of this writing, the Senate was able to invoke cloture on Judge Nancy Maldonado (7th Cir.) but has not confirmed any Article III judges. Earlier in the week, the Senate was scheduled to vote on Magistrate Judge Mustafa Kasubhai (D. Or.), but due to attendance issues the cloture vote was pulled. That vote will now have to occur at a later date.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for 4 Article III nominees: Karla Campbell (6th Cir.), Justice Julia Lipez (1st Cir.), Catherine Henry (E.D. Pa.), and Mary Kay Lanthier (D. Vt.). These nominees are no eligible for a committee vote.

As of June 20, there are 71 Article III vacancies, 45 of which are current. Once the latest nominees are officially nominated, there will be 30 pending nominees: 10 waiting for floor votes, 13 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 7 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 201 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.

On The Bench: Week of June 13, 2024

The Senate made no progress on judicial confirmations this week. As of this writing, there have been no cloture motions filed on any Article III nominees.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting where due to attendance issues they were unable to vote on any Article III nominees.

Also this week, the White House announced the newest slate of judicial nominations. The slate consisted of 3 Article III nominees: Mary Kay Costello (E.D. Pa.), Laura Margarete Provinzino (D. Minn.), and Judge Noël Wise.

As of June 13, there are 71 Article III vacancies, 45 of which are current. Once the latest nominees are officially nominated, there will be 30 pending nominees: 10 waiting for floor votes, 9 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 11 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 201 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.

In other judiciary news, the Senate Judiciary Committee in a bipartisan vote advanced the JUDGES Act of 2024. The legislation seeks to add 66 permanent district court judgeships in several states across the country. The new judgeships would be added over a period of 12 years.

On The Bench: Week of January 26, 2024

The Senate made encouraging progress on judicial nominations this week. As of this writing, the Senate confirmed 3 Article III nominees: Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn Austin (D.S.C.), Judge Cristal Brisco (N.D. Ind.), and Judge Gretchen Lund (N.D. Ind.). The Senate also invoked cloture on Magistrate Judge Joshua Kolar (7th Cir.) and Kirk Sherriff (E.D. Cal.), setting up potential confirmation votes. Once the Senate confirms this group of nominees, there will still be 15 nominees waiting on the Senate floor.

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for 5 Article III nominees: Judge Ann Marie McIff Allen (D. Utah), Magistrate Judge Susan Bazis (D. Neb.), Ernest Gonzalez (W.D. Tex.), Magistrate Judge Kelly Rankin (D. Wyo.), and Magistrate Judge Leon Schydlower (W.D. Tex.). All the nominees are now eligible for a committee vote.

As of January 25, there are 88 Article III vacancies, 58 of which are current. Once the announced nominees are officially nominated, then there will be 28 pending nominees: 17 waiting for floor votes, 5 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 6 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 171 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.

On The Bench: Week of January 18, 2024

Due to working on government funding, the Senate made limited progress on judicial nominations this week. As of this writing, the Senate has not confirmed any judicial nominees.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting for a large batch of judicial nominees. At the meeting, the Committee voted on nominees who were renominated by the White House earlier this year. In total, the Committee advanced 19 Article III nominees to the floor: Magistrate Judge Joshua Kolar (7th Cir.), Nicole Berner (4th Cir.), Adeel Mangi (3d Cir.), Seth Aframe (1st Cir.), Lisa Wang (Ct. Int’l Trade), Joseph Laroski (Ct. Int’l Trade), Judge Amy Baggio (D. Or.), Judge Cristal Brisco (N.D. Ind.), Judge Gretchen Lund (N.D. Ind.), Judge Eumi Lee (N.D. Cal.), Magistrate Judge Mustafa Kasubhai (D. Or.), Magistrate Judge Edward Kiel (D.N.J.), Kirk Sherriff (E.D. Cal.), Sarah Russell (D. Conn.), Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn Austin (D.S.C.), Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Becerra (S.D. Fla.), Magistrate Judge Melissa Damian (S.D. Fla.), David Leibowitz (S.D. Fla.), and Magistrate Judge Julie Sneed (M.D. Fla.).

As of January 18, there are 90 Article III vacancies, 61 of which are current. Once the announced nominees are officially nominated, then there will be 31 pending nominees: 20 waiting for floor votes, 0 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 11 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 168 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.

On The Bench: Week of January 11, 2024

The Senate returned from recess this week and began working on judicial nominations. As of this writing, the Senate has confirmed two of the three candidates that Majority Leader Schumer filed cloture on last month: Magistrate Judge John Kazen (S.D. Tex.) and Magistrate Judge Kato Crews (D. Colo.).

Earlier this week, the White House began the process of renominating judicial candidates. So far, the White House has renominated all but five of the nominees who were pending at the end of the last congressional session. According to media reports, two of the five have withdrawn from consideration and as a result will not be renominated. They are Colleen Holland (W.D.N.Y.) and Charnelle Bjelkengren (E.D. Wash.). The other three nominees did not comment to the media on their status. The White House in a press release did acknowledge the potential for further renominations at a later date.

Also this week, the White House announced the latest slate of judicial nominees. The latest slate of nominees contained six Article III nominees: Amir Ali (D.D.C.), Judge Melissa DuBose (D.R.I.), Magistrate Judge Sunil Harjani (N.D. Ill.), Judge Rebecca Kanter (S.D. Cal.), Robert White (E.D. Mich.), and Jasmine Yoon (W.D. Va.). This slate continues the White House’s emphasis on diversifying the federal bench. If confirmed, Yoon and DuBose would be the first people of color to ever serve as a judge in their respective district courts.

As of January 11, there are 89 Article III vacancies, 60 of which are current. Once the announced nominees are officially nominated, then there will be 31 pending nominees: 1 waiting for floor votes, 19 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 11 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 168 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.