On The Bench: Week of March 1, 2024

The Senate made encouraging progress on judicial nominations this week. As of this writing, the Senate has confirmed 4 Article III nominees: Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Becerra (S.D. Fla.), David Leibowitz (S.D. Fla.), Magistrate Judge Melissa Damian (S.D. Fla.), and Magistrate Judge Julie Sneed (M.D. Fla.). All four confirmations were to vacancies that had been designated judicial emergencies by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts.

Also this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting on Thursday. The Committee advanced 5 Article III nominees to the floor: 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.).

As of February 29, there are 82 Article III vacancies, 51 of which are current. There are 27 pending nominees: 12 waiting for floor votes, 5 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 10 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 181 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.

On The Bench: Week of February 22, 2024

The Senate remained on recess this week and is still set to return on Monday, February 26. Majority Leader Schumer filed cloture on two judicial nominees before leaving for recess: Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Becerra (S.D. Fla.) and David Leibowitz (S.D. Fla.). The cloture vote on Magistrate Judge Becerra will be the first vote when the Senate returns the evening of the 26th.

This week the White House announced the next slate of judicial nominees. The slate contained 5 Article III nominees: Judge Nancy Maldonado (7th Cir.), Georgia Alexakis (N.D. Ill.), Kriss Lanham (D. Ariz.), Magistrate Judge Angela Martinez (D. Ariz.), and Sparkle Sooknanan (D.D.C.). This slate continues the White House’s emphasis on diversifying the federal bench. If confirmed, Judge Maldonado would be the first ever Latinx person to serve on the Seventh Circuit.

As of February 22, there are 85 Article III vacancies, 55 of which are current. Once the new nominees are officially nominated, there will be 31 pending nominees: 11 waiting for floor votes, 10 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 11 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 177 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.

On The Bench: Week of February 15, 2024

Earlier this week, the Senate passed the appropriations bill that helped fund aid for foreign countries. After passing the bill, the Senate left for its scheduled recess. The Senate will be out of session until Monday, February 26.

Before leaving for recess, Majority Leader Schumer filed cloture on two judicial nominees: Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Becerra (S.D. Fla.) and David Leibowitz (S.D. Fla.). These nominees are part of the 11 judicial nominees still pending on the Senate floor. The cloture vote on Magistrate Judge Becerra will be the first vote when the Senate returns the evening of the 26th.

As of February 15, there are 85 Article III vacancies, 55 of which are current. There are 26 pending nominees: 11 waiting for floor votes, 10 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 5 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 177 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.

On The Bench: Week of February 8, 2024

Due to other legislative priorities, the Senate’s progress on judicial confirmations slowed this week. As of this writing, the Senate has confirmed 2 Article III nominees: Joseph Laroski (Ct. Int’l Trade) and Judge Amy Baggio (D. Or.). After these confirmations, there are still 11 Article III nominees pending on the Senate floor, about half of whom were pending at the end of last year. As of Thursday morning, the Senate is still expected to go on a two week recess starting next week.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for 5 Article III nominees: Amir Ali (D.D.C.), Judge Melissa DuBose (D.R.I.), Magistrate Judge Sunil Harjani (N.D. Ill.), Robert White (E.D. Mich.), and Jasmine Yoon (W.D. Va.). These nominees are all now eligible for a committee vote. If confirmed, Yoon and DuBose would be the first people of color to ever serve as a judge on their respective district courts.

Also this week, the White House announced the latest slate of judicial nominations. The slate contained 4 Article III nominees: Magistrate Judge Sanket Bulsara (E.D.N.Y.), Judge Dena Coggins (E.D. Cal.), Eric Schulte (D.S.D.), and Judge Camela Theeler (D.S.D.).

As of February 8, there are 85 Article III vacancies, 54 of which are current. Once the announced nominees are officially nominated, then there will be 26 pending nominees: 11 waiting for floor votes, 10 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 5 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 177 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.

On The Bench: Week of February 1, 2024

The Senate continued to make good progress on judicial nominations this week. As of this writing, the Senate has confirmed 4 Article III nominees: Magistrate Judge Joshua Kolar (7th Cir.), Kirk Sherriff (E.D. Cal.), Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick (M.D. Pa.), and Lisa Wang (Ct. Int’l Trade). The Senate also invoked cloture on Joseph Laroski (Ct. Int’l Trade), setting up a potential confirmation vote as early as next week.

As of February 1, there are 87 Article III vacancies, 55 of which are current. Once the announced nominees are officially nominated, then there will be 24 pending nominees: 13 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, 175 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.

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.