On the Bench

ACS's Judicial News Roundup

Weekly roundup of judicial nominations activity.

This Week

November 15, 2019

This week the Senate confirmed Steven Menashi (2d Cir.) in a 51-41 vote. Menashi has a troubling record of writings on reproductive rights, LGBTQ issues, education, immigration, and diversity in general. With the confirmation of Menashi the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has switched from a majority of judges being appointed by Democratic presidents to a majority of judges being appointed by Republican presidents.

Earlier this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for three lifetime judgeships including two nominees to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The Committee also held an executive business meeting for five judicial nominees, including two nominees for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, setting up a potential Committee vote as early as next week. One of these nominees was Lawrence VanDyke (9th Cir.) whom a substantial majority of the ABA’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary rated as “not qualified.”

As of November 14, there are 108 Article III vacancies, 90 of which are current. Once the remaining nominees are officially nominated, there will be 57 pending nominees: 25 waiting for floor votes, 9 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 23 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

Visit more ACS resources on judicial nominations.

Previous Weeks

November 8, 2019

This week the Senate voted to confirm four judicial nominees: Danielle Hunsaker (9th Cir.) in a 73-17 vote; William Nardini (2d Cir.) in a 86-2 vote; Lee Rudofsky (E.D. Ark.) in a 51-41 vote; and Jennifer Wilson (M.D. Pa.) in a 88-3 vote. With the confirmation of Hunsaker and Nardini the Trump administration has now appointed one-fourth of all circuit court judges. For more on this milestone see ACS’ statement here.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting for seven nominees. The Committee held Halil Ozerden (5th Cir.) over again at the request of the White House. The remaining six nominees, which included three circuit court judges, were all favorably advanced to the floor. One of the nominees who advanced to the floor was Steven Menashi (2d Cir.), who has a troubling record of writings on reproductive rights, LGBTQ issues, education, immigration, and diversity in general. Menashi advanced on a partisan 12-10 vote that took place after nearly every Senator in attendance spoke on his nomination.

As of November 7, there are 109 Article III vacancies, 90 of which are current. Once the remaining nominees are officially nominated, there will be 58 pending nominees: 26 waiting for floor votes, 6 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 26 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

Visit more ACS resources on judicial nominations.

November 1, 2019

The Senate Judiciary Committee this week held an executive business meeting with 11 nominees. Seven of these nominees were held over, including Halil Ozerden (5th Cir.) and Steven Menashi (2d Cir.), marking the second time they have been held over. The remaining four nominees were advanced to the floor, including Sarah Pitlyk (E.D. Mo.) whom the ABA unanimously rated as “not qualified.”

The Committee also held a hearing this week for five nominees, including two nominees to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On the night prior to the hearing, the ABA released its rating for Lawrence VanDyke (9th Cir.). A substantial majority of the ABA committee rated VanDyke as “not qualified,” based on reports from peers that the nominee was “arrogant, lazy, an ideologue, and lacking knowledge of the day-to-day practice including procedural rules.” For a more detailed explanation of its rating see the ABA’s letter. VanDyke became the ninth nominee during this administration to receive a “not qualified” rating from the ABA committee.

Related: View our frequently updated infographic for details on circuit court sitting judges, vacancies, and pending nominees: U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals Composition.

As of October 31, there are 111 Article III vacancies, 94 of which are current. Once the remaining nominees are officially nominated, there will be 55 pending nominees: 24 waiting for floor votes, 12 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 19 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

Visit more ACS resources on judicial nominations.

October 25, 2019

This week Senate Majority Leader Mitchell McConnell skipped Justin Walker (W.D. Ky.) to the front of the Senate calendar to accelerate his nomination. Despite the ABA rating Justin Walker as not qualified, the Senate voted to confirm him in a 50-41 vote.

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced four nominees, including two nominees to the circuit courts to the Senate floor. If the two circuit court nominees are confirmed, then one-fourth of all circuit court judges will be President Trump appointees. This benchmark will be reached without the Senate confirming a single Black or Latinx nominee to the circuit courts. The Committee, in light of Representative Elijah Cummings’ funeral, held over an additional six nominees including: Steven Menashi (2d Cir.), Halil Ozerden (5th Cir.), and Sarah Pitlyk (E.D. Mo.).

View our interactive map to learn more about circuit and district court vacancies and pending nominees.

As of October 24, there are 111 Article III vacancies, 95 of which are current. Once remaining nominees are officially nominated, there will be 56 pending nominees: 21 waiting for floor votes, 11 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 24 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

October 18, 2019

Quickly after returning from recess, the Senate continued to confirm judicial nominees. This week the Senate voted to confirm four district court nominees: Rachel Kovner (E.D.N.Y.) in a 88-3 vote; David Novak (E.D. Va.) in a 89-3 vote; Charles Eskridge III (S.D. Tex.) in a 61-31 vote; and Frank Volk (S.D. W. Va.) in a 92-0 vote. With these four votes the Senate has now confirmed 156 lifetime judges nominated by this administration.

This week the Senate Judiciary Committee also continued to advance more judicial nominees. On Wednesday October 16 the Committee held a hearing for five nominees, including two nominees to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Then on Thursday the Committee advanced five district court nominees to a vote on the Senate floor. These nominees included Justin Walker (W.D. Ky.) who the ABA previously rated as not qualified. However, the Committee did not take their scheduled vote on Halil Ozerden, a nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, who continues to face opposition from two Republican members of the Committee. Click here to learn more about judicial nominations.

As of October 17, there are 110 Article III vacancies, 95 of which are current. Once remaining nominees are officially nominated, there will be 56 pending nominees: 17 waiting for floor votes, 15 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 24 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

October 11, 2019

The Senate is set to return from its two-week recess next week on October 15. Prior to the recess Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture on four district court nominees: Frank Volk (S.D. W. Va.), Charles Eskridge III (S.D. Tex.), David Novak (E.D. Va.), and Rachel Kovner (E.D.N.Y.). These nominees will likely be put up for a vote early next week.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is also expected to have a busy week. A hearing has been set for October 16 and the Committee is going to hold an executive business meeting on October 17. This executive business meeting will be the second markup for several nominees including Halil Ozerden, a nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, who has faced opposition from two Republican members of the Committee.

As of October 10, there are 113 Article III vacancies, 98 of which are current. Once remaining recess nominees are officially nominated, there will be 58 pending nominees: 16 waiting for floor votes, 15 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 27 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

View our interactive map to learn more about circuit and district court vacancies and pending nominees.

October 4, 2019

While much of the national attention has been elsewhere during this two-week Senate recess, numerous nominations remain pending before the Chamber. As of October 3, the Senate has confirmed 152 lifetime judges to Article III courts. This represents over one-sixth of all Article III judgeships, of whom only a minority are from diverse backgrounds. Of the confirmed nominees, 86% have been white and 66% have been white men. In addition to the lack of diversity, the speed at which these nominees have been confirmed remains accelerated. All seven of the current and known future vacancies to the circuit courts have nominees and once two more are confirmed one-fourth of all circuit court judges will be President Trump’s appointees.

Every day, federal courts decide cases critical to our rights — from the environment to voting to immigration. In just the past week district court judges have ruled on Georgia’s abortion ban and Harvard’s admission policy. These cases exemplify the idea that courts matter. Click here to learn more about judicial nominations.

As of October 3, there are 110 Article III vacancies, 98 of which are current. Once remaining recess nominees are officially nominated, there will be 58 pending nominees: 16 waiting for floor votes, 15 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 27 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings

The Senate will return from recess on October 15.

September 27

This week the Senate Judiciary Committee was supposed to hold an executive business meeting for six judicial nominations potentially moving them to the Senate floor for a vote. These six nominees included Halil Ozerden, a nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. During his July hearing, Ozerden was asked a series of questions about his commitment to conservative causes by Senator Ted Cruz, who has come out publicly against Ozerden for not being sufficiently conservative. In addition to Senator Cruz, Senator Josh Hawley announced his opposition of Ozerden Thursday morning.

Earlier this week the Committee also held a hearing for five nominees: Danielle Hunsaker (9th Cir.), William Nardini (2d Cir.), Jodi Dishman (W.D. Okla.), Sarah Pitlyk (E.D. Mo.), and Daniel Traynor (D.N.D.). A large portion of the hearing focused on the ABA’s unanimous rating of Pitlyk as “not qualified.” The Democratic members of the Committee focused on her rating, pointing out that Pitlyk has never taken a deposition or cross-examined a witness. The Republican members expressed concerns with the ABA’s judicial rating system, even suggesting that the Committee abandon its use of ABA ratings altogether or else allow for other groups to fill the same role. Additionally, the Democratic senators expressed concerns over Pitlyk’s extensive anti-abortion views. Click here to learn more about judicial nominations.

As of September 26, there are 110 Article III vacancies, 97 of which are current. Once the 19 remaining recess nominees are officially nominated, there will be 55 pending nominees: 16 waiting for floor votes, 15 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 24 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings

September 20

This week the Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting for six judicial nominees, including Halil Ozerden, a nominee to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. During his July hearing, Ozerden was asked a series of questions about his commitment to conservative causes by Senator Ted Cruz, who has come out publicly against Ozerden for not being sufficiently conservative. In this week’s first markup, all six nominees were held over by the Committee, setting up a potential vote at a second markup on September 26.

Next week the Committee is also set to hold a hearing on September 25. This hearing will likely include some of President Trump’s recess nominees and could include both circuit and district court nominees. The date of the first markup for Steven Menashi, President Trump’s nominee to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, who has a troubling record of writings on reproductive rights, LGBTQ issues, education, immigration, and diversity in general, remains to be announced. Click here to learn more about judicial nominations.

As of September 19, there are 110 Article III vacancies, 97 of which are current. Once the 17 remaining recess nominees are officially nominated there will be 52 pending nominees: 16 waiting for floor votes, 10 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 26 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

September 13

This week the Senate confirmed six district court nominees: Stephanie Haines (W.D. Pa.) in a 94-0 vote; Ada Brown (N.D. Tex.) in a 80-13 vote; Steven Grimberg (N.D. Ga.) in a 75-18 vote; Steven Seeger (N.D. Ill.) in a 90-1 vote; and Mary McElroy (D.R.I) and Stephanie Gallagher (D. Md.) by voice vote. With these six confirmations the Senate confirmed President Trump’s 150th lifetime judicial appointee.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Wednesday for four nominees, including Steven Menashi (2d Cir.). During the hearing Menashi repeatedly claimed to owe a duty of confidentiality to his clients when asked about his work on the White House Immigration Working Group and at the Department of Education. Click here to learn more about judicial nominations.

As of September 12, there are 108 Article III vacancies, 97 of which are current. Once the 12 remaining recess nominees are officially nominated there will be 47 pending nominees: 16 waiting for floor votes, 10 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 21 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

September 6

During the August congressional recess, President Trump announced his intent to nominate 18 more federal judges, including three nominees to the circuit courts: Steven Menashi (2d Cir.), Danielle Hunsaker (9th Cir.), and William Nardini (2d Cir.). Once the Senate confirms two more of his circuit court nominees, President Trump will have appointed one-fourth of all circuit court judges.

View our infographic on the changing composition of the circuit courts.

President Trump will have accomplished this without nominating a single Black or Latinx person to the circuit courts.

Senate will soon confirm 150th Trump nominee to the federal bench

The Senate will likely start confirming judges as soon as it returns from recess next week. Senators voted for cloture on four nominees prior to the recess: Stephanie Haines (W.D. Pa.), Steven Grimberg (N.D. Ga.), Ada Brown (N.D. Tex.), and Steven Seeger (N.D. Ill.). These four nominees could be confirmed as early as Monday, September 9. Their confirmations will bring the total number of confirmed Trump appointees to 150 judges.

The Senate will also hold a nominations hearing on September 11 and is expected to hold the first mark-up for additional nominees on September 12, including Justin Walker (W.D. Ky.) and Lee Rudofsky (E.D. Ark.).

More than 100 vacancies remain

As of September 5, there are 114 Article III vacancies, 103 of which are current. Once the 18 recess nominees are officially nominated there will be 53 pending nominees: 22 waiting for floor votes, 6 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 25 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

View our interactive map to learn more about circuit and district court vacancies and pending nominees.

August 1

This week the Senate confirmed 13 district court nominees:

    • Karin Immergut (D. Or.), voice vote
    • John Younge (E.D. Pa.), voice vote
    • Mary Rowland (N.D. Ill.), voice vote
    • Mark Pittman (N.D. Tex.), 54-36
    • Jeffrey Brown (S.D. Tex.), 50-40
    • Brantley Star (N.D. Tex.), 51-39
    • Jason Pulliam (W.D. Tex.), 54-36
    • Martha Pacold (N.D. Ill.), 87-3
    • William Stickman IV (W.D. Pa.), 56-34
    • Sean Jordan (E.D. Tex.), 54-34
    • James Hendrix (N.D. Tex.), 89-1
    • Peter Welte (D.N.D.), 68-22
    • Michael Liburdi (D. Ariz.), 53-37

In addition to these thirteen nominees the Senate confirmed two nominees to the Court of International Trade by voice vote. With the confirmation of these nominees the Trump Administration has now had 146 nominees confirmed to an Article III court. This total represents just over one sixth of all Article III judges. Among those confirmed, John Younge and James Hendrix were previously nominated by President Obama.

Also, this week the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on three district court nominees: Justin Walker (W.D. Ky.); Lee Rudofksy (E.D. Ark.); and R. Austin Huffaker Jr. (M.D. Ala.). Just this week the ABA rated Justin Walker as not qualified. Walker faced questions in the hearing over this rating and in particular over his lack of legal experience. Click here to learn more about judicial nominations.

As of August 1, there are 112 Article III vacancies, 103 of which are current. There are 35 pending nominees: 22 waiting for floor votes, 6 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 7 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

Tomorrow the Senate will go on recess for August. On The Bench will return when the Senate does. Please continue to speak out in your community about the importance of the courts and let ACS know if you need any resources.

July 26, 2019

This week the Senate confirmed two district court nominees: Wendy Berger (M.D. Fla.) in a 54-37 vote and Brian Buescher (D. Neb.) in a 51-40 vote. With the confirmation of Berger and Buescher that means 131 out of 870 Article III judges were appointed by President Trump or in other words 15% of all Article III judges.

Also, this week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture on 19 district court nominees setting up the potential for a large package of judges to be confirmed before the August recess. Click here to learn more about judicial nominations.

As of July 25, there are 127 Article III vacancies, 117 of which are current. There are 50 pending nominees: 37 waiting for floor votes, 3 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 10 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

July 19, 2019

This week the Senate confirmed one appellate nominee: Peter Phipps (3d Cir.) in a 56-40 vote. In addition to Phipps’s confirmation, the Senate filed for cloture on one district court nominee: Clifton Corker (E.D. Tenn.) in a 55-41 vote. The Senate is expected to vote on and likely confirm Corker later this week.

Also, this week the Senate Judiciary Committee held an Executive Business Meeting on three district court nominees: Douglas Cole (S.D. Ohio), Matthew McFarland (S.D. Ohio), and Kea Riggs (D.N.M.). The committee voted all three favorably out of committee setting the nominees up for a floor vote. Click here to learn more about judicial nominations.

As of July 18, there are 130 Article III vacancies, 119 of which are current. There are 53 pending nominees: 40 waiting for floor votes, 3 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 10 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

July 12, 2019

This week the Senate confirmed one appellate nominee: Daniel Bress (9th Cir.) in a 53-45 vote. This was despite a lack of support from both home state Senatos. With Bress’s confirmation, now one-fourth of all the active judges on the Ninth Circuit are Trump appointees. In addition to Bress’s confirmation, the Senate confirmed three district court nominees: Damon Leichty (N.D. Ind.) in an 85-10 vote; J. Nicholas Ranjan (W.D. Pa.) in an 80-14 vote; and T. Kent Wetherell II (N.D. Fla.) in a 78-15 vote.

Also, this week the Senate Judiciary Committee held an Executive Business Meeting on three district court nominees: Douglas Cole (S.D. Ohio), Matthew McFarland (S.D. Ohio), and Kea Riggs (D.N.M.). The committee held these three nominations over setting up a potential committee vote to advance them to the floor next week. Click here to learn more about judicial nominations.

As of July 11, there are 131 Article III vacancies, 120 of which are current. There are 54 pending nominees: 38 waiting for floor votes, 3 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 13 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

June 28, 2019

Last week the Senate confirmed four district court judges: Matthew Kacsmaryk (N.D. Tex.) in a 52-46 vote; Allen Winsor (N.D. Fla.) in a 54-44 vote; James Cain Jr. (W.D. La.) in a 77-21 vote; and Greg Guidry (E.D. La.) in a 53-46 vote. Kacsmaryk (N.D. Tex.) has a record of anti-LGBTQ statements.

Last week the Senate Judiciary Committee also favorably voted sixteen judicial nominees out of committee. These nominees included one circuit court nominee and fifteen district court nominees. This week the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for three more district court nominees and on Thursday favorably voted one circuit court nominee and three district court nominees out of committee. Click here to learn more about judicial nominations.

As of June 27, there are 132 Article III vacancies, 118 of which are current. There are 56 pending nominees: 42 waiting for floor votes, 3 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 11 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

 

May 24, 2019

The Senate confirmed one appellate nominee and four district court nominees this week: Daniel Collins (9th Cir., Cal.) in a 53-46 vote; Howard Nielson (D. Utah) in a 51-47 vote; Stephen Clark (E.D. Mo.) in a 53-45 vote; Carl Nichols (D.D.C.) in a 55-43 vote; and Kenneth Bell (W.D.N.C.) in a 55-43 vote. Nielson (D. Utah) has a record of anti-LGBTQ statements. Collins (9th Cir., Cal.) lacked support from Senators Feinstein (D-Cal.) and Harris (D-Cal.).

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on five lifetime judicial nominees: Daniel Bress (9th Cir., Cal.), Michael Bogren (W.D. Mich.), Stephanie Davis (E.D. Mich.), Jason Pulliam (W.D. Tex.), and Frank Volk (S.D.W. Va.)  including Daniel Bress (9th Cir., Cal.) who also lacks support from Senators Feinstein (D-Cal.) and Harris (D-Cal.).

As of May 24, there are 142 Article III vacancies, 126 of which are current. There are 63 pending nominees:  30 waiting for floor votes, 20 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 13 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

May 16, 2019

The Senate confirmed three judicial nominees this week, the anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board decision: Michael Truncale (E.D. Tex.) in a 49-46 vote, Kenneth Lee (9th Cir., Cal.) in a 52-45 vote, and Wendy Vitter (E.D. La.) in a 52-45 vote. The three nominees all refused to say if Brown was correctly decided during their hearings. Lee was confirmed over the objection of Sens. Feinstein (D-Cal.) and Harris (D-Cal.), who both withheld their blue slips. Click here to learn more about judicial nominations.

As of May 16, there are there are 148 Article III vacancies, 133 of which are current. There are 69 pending nominees:  36 waiting for floor votes, 15 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 18 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

May 10, 2019

The Senate confirmed two nominees to the Second Circuit, despite opposition from Senators Schumer and Gillibrand:  Joseph Bianco in a 54-42 vote, and Michael Park in a 52-41 vote. With the two confirmations, the court is coming closer to switching to a majority Republican-nominated judges. The Senate Judiciary Committee reported four nominees out of Committee:  Jeffrey Brown in a 12-10 vote, Robert Colville in a 14-8 vote, Stephanie Haines in a 21-1 vote, and Brantley Starr in a 12-10 vote.

As of May 10, there are there are 147 Article III vacancies, 132 of which are current. There are 71 pending nominees:  34 waiting for floor votes, 23 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 14 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

May 3, 2019

The Senate returned from recess this week and confirmed five district court nominees, surpassing 100 confirmations. The nominees confirmed were J. Campbell Barker (E.D. Tex.), Andrew Brasher (M.D. Tex.), Rodolfo Ruiz (S.D. Fla.), Raul Arias-Marxuach (D.P.R.), and Joshua Wolson (E.D. Pa.). The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on three district court nominees:  Ada Brown (N.D. Tex.), Steven Grimberg (N.D. Ga.), and David Novak (E.D. Va.).

As of May 3, there are there are 149 Article III vacancies, 133 of which are current. There are 67 pending nominees:  36 waiting for floor votes, 19 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 12 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

April 26, 2019

The Senate will return from recess next week. Before recess, Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) teed up five district court nominees for confirmation votes:  J. Campbell Barker (E.D. Tex.), Andrew Brasher (M.D. Ala.), Rodolfo Ruiz (S.D. Fla.), Raul Arias-Marxuach (D.P.R.), and Joshua Wolson (E.D. Pa.). If successful, more than 100 of President Trump’s judicial nominees will have been confirmed.

As of April 26, there are there are 153 Article III vacancies, 137 of which are current. There are 72 pending nominees:  41 waiting for floor votes, 16 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 15 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

April 12, 2019

The Senate enacted a rule change last week minimizing the debate time on district court nominees. As a result, four district court nominees were confirmed in two daysDaniel Domenico (D. Colo.), Patrick Wyrick (W.D. Okla.), Holly Brady (N.D. Ind.), and David Morales (S.D. Tex). The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on three nominees:  Jeffrey Brown (S.D. Tex.), Stephanie Haines (W.D. Pa.), and Brantley Starr (N.D. Tex.).

As of April 12, there are 151 Article III vacancies, 137 of which are current. There are 72 pending nominees:  41 waiting for floor votes, 13 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 18 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

April 5, 2019

On Wednesday, the Senate voted to roll back the hours of debate for district court nominees from 30 hours to two hours. This change will enable the Majority to rapidly confirm nominees to lifetime positions without sufficient time for off Committee Senators to review their records. Read ACS’s response here. Roy Altman (S.D. Fla.) was the first nominee confirmed under the new rules and votes are expected on at least four additional nominees. The Senate Judiciary Committee reported five judicial nominees out of Committee:  Daniel Collins (9th Cir., Cal.) in a 12-10 vote, Kenneth Lee (9th Cir., Cal.) in a 12-10 vote, James Hendrix (N.D. Tex.) in a 22-0 vote, Sean Jordan (E.D. Tex.) in a 12-10 vote, and Mark Pittman (N.D. Tex.) in a 12-10 vote. Collins and Lee lacked support from Senators Feinstein and Harris.

As of April 5, there are 155 Article III vacancies, 141 of which are current. There are 62 pending nominees:  45 waiting for floor votes 1 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 18 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

March 29, 2019

The Senate confirmed Bridget Bade (9th Cir., Ariz.), the last circuit court nominee currently pending on the floor, in a 78-21 vote. The remaining 37 nominees on the floor are for district court vacancies. Republicans are imminently expected to change the debate rules on the floor, because they only need a majority (51 votes) to pass it and cannot secure the 60 votes required for the regular order of legislative rules change. Although a seemingly wonky issue, this change promises to further speed up the confirmation of judicial nominees in the months to come.

March 15, 2019

The Senate confirmed two concerning appellate nominees this week:  Paul Matey (3d Cir., N.J.) in a 54-45 vote and Neomi Rao (D.C. Cir.) in a 53-46 vote. Matey was confirmed despite opposition from both home-state Senators. With these two confirmations, 1 in 5 currently serving circuit court judges have been nominated by President Trump, as the president and the Senate majority continue to reshape the judiciary to be more conservative.

View the ACS infographic: Changing Circuit Court Composition

In a further breakdown of norms, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Kenneth Lee (9th Cir., Cal.) and Daniel Collins (9th Cir., Cal.)who lack support from Senators Feinstein (D-Cal.) and Harris (D-Cal.), both members of the Committee.

As of March 15, there are 155 Article III vacancies, 142 of which are current. There are 62 pending nominees:  42 waiting for floor votes, 5 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 15 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

View our interactive 50-state map to see more information about the circuit and district courts. 

March 7, 2019

The Senate confirmed three concerning appellate nominees this week amid reports that Senator McConnell will be changing the rules to further speed up confirmations:  Allison Rushing (4th Cir., N.C.), Chad Readler (6th Cir., Ohio), and Eric Murphy (6th Cir., Ohio). The Sixth Circuit nominees were confirmed despite vocal opposition from Senator Brown (D-Ohio). Readler also incited opposition, including from Senator Collins (R-Me.), due to his work to overturn coverage of pre-existing conditions.The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on two district court nominees:  Sean Jordan (E.D. Tex.) and Mark Pittman (N.D. Tex.). The Committee also reported out five nominees: Joseph Bianco (2d Cir., N.Y.), Michael Park (2d Cir., N.Y.), Greg Guidry (E.D. La.), Michael Liburdi (D. Ariz.), and Peter Welte (D.N.D.).

The President announced nomination of three individuals to district court vacancies:  Robert Colville (W.D. Pa.), Stephanie Haines (W.D. Pa.), and Jason Pulliam (W.D. Tex.).

As of March 7, there are 160 Article III vacancies, 144 of which are current. There are 60 pending nominees:  44 waiting for floor votes, 2 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 14 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

February 29, 2019

The Senate further broke judicial nominations norms by confirming Eric Miller (9th Cir., Wash.), the first nominee confirmed despite opposition from both home-state Senators. Miller was confirmed in a 53-46 vote. The Senate Judiciary Committee reported Neomi Rao (D.C. Cir.) out of Committee in a 12-10 vote. Rao has faced scrutiny from both Democrats and Republicans.

Cloture was filed on Allison Rushing (4th Cir., N.C.), Eric Murphy (6th Cir., Ohio), and Chad Readler (6th Cir., Ohio). Votes are expected on all three nominees next week. Murphy and Readler are both lacking blue slips from Senator Brown.

As of March 1, there are 159 Article III vacancies, 139 of which are current. There are 60 pending nominees:  42 waiting for floor votes, 5 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 15 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

February 22, 2019

The Senate is on recess this week. Next week, we expect a confirmation vote on Eric Miller (9th Cir., Wash.), who is lacking support from Senators Cantwell and Murray. Last week, the Senate Rules Committee approved legislation to reduce hours of post-cloture debate on district court nominees from 30 hours to 2 hours. Republicans are imminently expected to change the debate rules on the floor, where they only need a majority (51 votes) to pass it because they cannot secure the 60 votes required for the regular order of legislative rules change.

Although a seemingly wonky issue, this change promises to further speed up the confirmation of judicial nominees in the months to come. Regarding the rule change, Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said that, “Presidents deserve to have their teams in place.”

ACS disagrees. Lifetime federal judges are meant to be impartial arbiters of the law, not serve at the pleasure of any elected official.

As of February 22, there are 160 Article III vacancies, 140 of which are current. There are 61 pending nominees:  42 waiting for floor votes, 6 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 15 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

February 15, 2019

ACS President Caroline Fredrickson was quoted in Mother Jones about the pattern of Trump nominees, including, Neomi Rao, to refuse to embrace Brown v. Board: “Why wouldn’t you just embrace it? It just shows you how radical the Republican party has become.”

The Senate Rules Committee approved a proposal to reduce hours of post-cloture debate on district court nominees from 30 hours to two hours. Although seemingly a wonky issue, this change promises to have huge impacts in the months to come.  The full 30 hours of debate are rarely utilized, but they have allowed Senators off the Judiciary Committee to fully review nominees. For example, Senator Scott (R-S.C.) had the time to review and then oppose Ryan Bounds (9th Cir., Or.) and Thomas Farr (E.D.N.C.). The proposal must pass by a 60-vote threshold, but Republicans have not ruled out proposing a rule change on the floor to require a simple majority. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing this week on two nominees lacking blue slips from both home-state Senators: Joseph Bianco (2d Cir., N.Y.) and Michael Park (2d Cir., N.Y.). The Committee also considered three district court nominees: Greg Guidry (E.D. La.), Michael Liburdi (D. Ariz.), and Peter Welte (D.N.D.).

As of February 15, there are 159 Article III vacancies, 139 of which are current. There are 61 pending nominees:  42 waiting for floor votes, 6 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 15 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

 

February 8, 2019

The Senate Judiciary Committee held an Executive Business Meeting on February 7, and voted the Attorney General nominee William Barr out of Committee in a 12-10 vote. The Committee also reported out 42 nominees to lifetime judgeships. Among the nominees reported were four appellate nominees missing blue slips: Paul Matey (3d Cir., N.J.), Eric Miller (9th Cir., Wash.), Eric Murphy (6th Cir., Ohio), and Chad Readler (6th Cir., Ohio).

On February 5, the Committee will held a hearing for Neomi Rao (D.C. Cir.), nominated for the seat left by Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Rao was questioned on concerning writings about sexual assault and race.

As of February 8, there are 159 Article III vacancies, 138 of which are current. There are 61 pending nominees:  42 waiting for floor votes, 1 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 18 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

February 1, 2019

The Senate Judiciary Committee held an Executive Business Meeting on January 29, during which, as is customary, they held over the Attorney General nominee William Barr and 42 nominees to lifetime judgeships. The Committee will meet again February 7, in a “monster markup” to report these nominees to the Senate floor for a vote.  On February 5 the committee will hold a hearing for Neomi Rao (D.C. Cir.), nominated for the seat left by Justice Brett Kavanaugh, and  for Matthew McFarland (S.D. Ohio).

Chairman Lindsey Graham confirmed this week that home-state senator blue slips will be respected for nominees to the district courts. The lack of blue slip respect for appellate nominees was reiterated when the President announced the nomination of Daniel Bress (9th Cir., Cal.) and re-nomination of Kenneth Lee (9th Cir., Cal.) and Daniel Collins (9th Cir., Cal.), all of whom lack support from Senators Feinstein (D-Cal.) and Harris (D-Cal.). An additional four re-nominees were named for district court vacancies in California.

As of February 1, there are 156 Article III vacancies, 137 of which are current. There are 60 pending nominees:  42 waiting to be reported out of Committee and 18 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

January 25, 2019

The President announced he would re-nominate 48 judicial nominees, nine of them to the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals, pending at the end of the 115th Congress. Of the appellate nominees, two are missing blue slips from both home-state Senators and two are missing blue slips from one home-state Senator. For more information on the blue slip tradition, click here . A monster mark-up in the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected next week for William Barr and the re-nominated individuals.

January 18, 2019

The president announced his intention to nominate six people for judicial vacancies. Like many of the president’s previous nominees, all six are white men. James Hendrix (N.D. Tex.) was previously nominated by President Obama. None of the nominees pending at the end of the 115th Congress have been re-nominated.

As of January 18, there are 153 Article III vacancies, 134 of which are current. There are six nominees waiting for hearings.

January 11, 2019

The nomination hearing to consider William Barr for the position of Attorney General will take place on January 15 and 16. All judicial nominees left pending at the end of the 115th Congress were returned to the White House on January 3. The President will decide which nominees to re-nominate. Some of the most controversial nominees may not be re-nominated, but it is widely expected that most of the returned individuals will be re-nominated. For more information on judicial vacancies, nominations, and confirmations, click here.

As of January 10, there are 151 Article III vacancies, 134 of which are current.

January 4, 2019

The 116th Congress was sworn in this week. The judicial nominees left pending at the end of the 115th Congress will need to be re-nominated by the President in order to be considered. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) will be joining the Senate Judiciary Committee after criticism for the absence of Republican women serving on the Committee. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) will also be joining the Committee, which will now be led by Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

As of January 4, there are 151 Article III vacancies, 133 of which are current. Of the 161 nominees named by President Trump, 85 were confirmed by the Senate. There were 70 nominees pending at the end of the 115th Congress:  30 waiting for Senate floor votes, 24 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 16 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. All pending nominees from the last Congress will be returned to the White House. The President will decide which nominees to re-nominate. Some of the most controversial nominees may not be re-nominated.

For more information, see ACS’s Judicial Nominations Resources.

December 21, 2018

Before adjourning the 115th Congress, the Senate held off on confirming yet another package of judicial nominees. Of President Trump’s 161 judicial nominees, 85 were confirmed this Congress, compared to 62 nominees confirmed during President Obama’s first two years in office. The high number of confirmations was largely a result of breakdowns in the judicial nominations process. [Learn about broken norms, like ignoring ABA ratings, in its rush to confirm President Trump’s nominees.] Of the 85 nominees, 92% are white.

As of December 21, there are 149 Article III vacancies, 132 of which are current. There are 70 nominees pending:  30 waiting for Senate floor votes, 24 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 16 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. Of the pending nominees 74% are male, 59% are white males, and 20% are people of color.

December 14, 2018

The Senate voted 50-50 in the confirmation vote on Jonathan Kobes (8th Cir., S.D.), who received a Not Qualified rating from the ABA. The confirmation vote on Kobes is the ninth time the Senate has confirmed a nominee with at least a partially “not qualified” rating by the ABA. [Learn about how the Senate GOP is breaking norms, like ignoring ABA ratings, in its rush to confirm President Trump’s nominees.]

The Vice President broke the first-ever judicial confirmation tie by any Vice President on Kobes, the 30th nominee confirmed to the U.S. Courts of Appeals this Congress.

Sen. Merkley (D-Or.) wrote this week about the judicial nominees posing threats to equal justice under law, including the failed nominees for the 9th Cir. and E.D.N.C.

As of December 14, there are 149 Article III vacancies, 132 of which are current. There are 70 nominees pending:  30 waiting for Senate floor votes, 24 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 16 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. Of the pending nominees 74% are male, 59% are white males, and 20% are people of color. Of the 161 nominees named by President Trump, 85 have been confirmed by the Senate.

December 7, 2018

The Senate Judiciary Committee postponed an Executive Business Meeting on 15 nominees because Sen. Flake (R-Ariz.) is refusing to vote on any judges until a vote is taken to protect the Mueller investigation. To learn more about norms being broken in the partisan attempt to capture the courts, click here.

As of December 7, there are 149 Article III vacancies, 128 of which are current. There are 72 nominees pending:  31 waiting for Senate floor votes, 24 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 16 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. Of the pending nominees 75% are male, 61% are white males, and 18% are people of color. Of the 161 nominees named by President Trump, 84 have been confirmed by the Senate.

November 30, 2018

A vote scheduled for November 29, on whether to confirm controversial nominee Thomas Farr to the E.D.N.C. was halted after Sen. Scott (R-S.C.) announced he would oppose Farr’s confirmation.

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for four judicial nominees:  Brian Buescher (D. Neb.), Clifton Corker (E.D. Tenn.), M. Baker (Ct. Intl. Trade), and Tim Reif (Ct. Intl. Trade). The Committee planned to report up to 15 nominees out of Committee this week, but Senator Flake (R-Ariz.) is refusing to vote on any judges until a vote is taken to protect the Mueller investigation.. The Senate is also cuing up Jonathan Kobes (8th Cir., Neb.) for a confirmation vote after a 50-49 cloture vote with the Vice President breaking a tie, despite his majority Not Qualified rating from the American Bar Association.

As of November 30, there are 148 Article III vacancies, 126 of which are current. There are 72 nominees pending:  32 waiting for Senate floor votes, 24 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 16 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. Of the pending nominees 75% are male, 60% are white males, and 18% are people of color. Of the 161 nominees named by President Trump 84 have been confirmed by the Senate.

November 16, 2018

The President announced he will be nominating Neomi Rao to fill the vacancy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit created by Justice Kavanaugh’s elevation to the Supreme Court.

The Senate returned from recess on November 13 and the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for five nominees:  Paul Matey (3d Cir., N.J.), Jean-Paul Boulee (N.D. Ga.), James Cain (W.D. La.), Damon Leichty (N.D. Ind.), and J. Nicholas Ranjan (W.D. Pa.). Matey lacks blue slips from Senators Booker and Menendez. The Committee also held an Executive Business Meeting on November 15, but held over 14 lifetime judicial nominees.

As of November 16, there are 144 Article III vacancies, 124 of which are current. There are 72 nominees pending:  32 waiting for Senate floor votes, 20 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 20 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. Of the pending nominees 76% are male, 60% are white males, and 18% are people of color. Of the 160 nominees named by President Trump 84 have been confirmed by the Senate.

November 9, 2018

Justice Brett Kavanaugh received his investiture at the Supreme Court of the United States on November 8. The Senate will return from recess on November 13. The Senate Judiciary Committee has noticed a hearing for November 13, though no nominees have been listed. The Committee is also expected to hold an Executive Business Meeting.

As of November 9, there are 144 Article III vacancies, 124 of which are current. There are 71 nominees pending:  32 waiting for Senate floor votes, 15 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 24 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. Of the pending nominees 76% are male, 60% are white males, and 18% are people of color. Of the 160 nominees named by President Trump 84 have been confirmed by the Senate.

November 2, 2018

After holding two unprecedented hearings during recess despite objection from the Democrats, the Senate Judiciary Committee will not be convening until after the Senate returns from recess on November 13. The Committee is expected to hold a hearing on November 14, as well as an Executive Business Meeting on November 15, during which they will consider 15 judicial nominees.

As of November 2, there are 143 Article III vacancies, 123 of which are current. There are 71 nominees pending:  32 waiting for Senate floor votes, 15 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 24 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. Of the pending nominees 76% are male, 60% are white males, and 18% are people of color. Of the 160 nominees named by President Trump 84 have been confirmed by the Senate.

October 26, 2018

The Senate Judiciary Committee continued to break norms, holding a second hearing during recess despite objection from all Democratic members of the Committee, for three judicial nominees. The result was a practically empty dais, with two Republican Senators and no Democratic Senators in attendance to question nominees the hearing concluded in 40 minutes. A nominee for a 9th Cir. seat in Washington state, Eric Miller, lacked blue slips from both Senators. The other two nominees on the hearing agenda were Bridge Bade (9th Cir., Ariz.) and Karin Immergut (D. Or.).

As of October 26, there are 143 Article III vacancies, 121 of which are current. There are 71 nominees pending:  32 waiting for Senate floor votes, 15 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 24 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. Of the 160 nominees named by President Trump 84 have been confirmed by the Senate.

October 19, 2018

Last week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell forced confirmation of 15 lower court nominees by threatening to cancel recess ahead of the midterm elections to confirm all judicial nominees waiting for votes. In an unprecedented move, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on October 17, for six nominees, despite the Senate being in recess and despite objection from all Democratic members of the Committee. The result was a practically empty dais, with two Republican Senators and no Democratic Senators in attendance to question nominees. Nominees on the agenda were Allison Rushing (4th Cir., N.C.), Thomas Barber (M.D. Fla.), Wendy Berger (M.D. Fla.), Corey Maze (N.D. Ala.), Rodney Smith (S.D. Fla.), and T. Kent Wetherell (N.D. Fla.). Committee Chair Chuck Grassley plans to hold a hearing next week, including for Eric Miller (9th Cir., Wash.) who lacks support from both home-state Senators. To learn more about norms being broken in the partisan attempt to capture the courts, click here.

As of October 19, there are 143 Article III vacancies, 121 of which are current. There are 71 nominees pending:  32 waiting for Senate floor votes, 12 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 27 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings. The Senate has confirmed 84 nominees to lifetime judicial seats, twice the number confirmed at this point in President Obama’s Administration.

October 12, 2018

On October 6, Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court of the United States in a 50-48 vote.

The Trump administration, aided by Senate leadership, continues its quest to dramatically transform the composition of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Courts. The Senate has been confirming nominees at an accelerated rate by disregarding norms and traditions like sidestepping the blue slip, ignoring ABA ratings of individual nominees, and stacking hearings.

This week, White House announced intent to nominate 13 men for judicial vacancies: Joseph Bianco (2d Cir., N.Y.), Patrick Bumatay (9th Cir., Cal.), Daniel Collins (9th Cir., Cal.), Kenneth Lee (9th Cir., Cal.), Michael Park (2d Cir., N.Y.), Stanley Bumenfeld (C.D. Cal.), Brian Buescher (D. Neb.), Clifton Corker (E.D. Tenn.), Philip Halpern (S.D.N.Y.), Thomas Marcelle (N.D.N.Y.), Matthew McFarland (S.D. Ohio), Jeremy Rosen (C.D. Cal.), and Mark Scarsi (C.D. Cal.).

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for six nominees: Eric Murphy (6th Cir., Ohio), Chad Readler (6th Cir., Ohio), Rossie Alston (E.D. Va.), Pamela Barker (N.D. Ohio), and Sarah Morrison (S.D. Ohio). It was the seventh hearing this Congress with multiple nominees to the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals. Senator Brown (D-Ohio) did not submit blue slips for Murphy or Readler; the fourth and fifth nominees to be given a hearing despite lacking at least one blue slip from a home-state Senator.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee reported eight nominees out of Committee: Jonathan Kobes (8th Cir., Neb.) in an 11-10 vote, Kenneth Bell (W.D.N.C.) in an 11-10 vote, Stephanie Gallagher (D. Md.) in a 20-1 vote, Mary McElroy (D.R.I.), in a 19-2 vote, Carl Nichols (D.D.C.) in an 11-10 vote, Martha Pacold (N.D. Ill.) in an 18-3 vote, Mary Rowland (N.D. Ill.) in a 16-5 vote, and Stephen Seeger in a voice vote. Jonathan Kobes was reported despite have a Not Qualified rating from the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary due to lack of relevant experience.

As of October 12, there are 158 Article III vacancies, 135 of which are current. There are 87 nominees pending:  47 waiting for Senate floor votes, 6 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 34 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

October 5, 2018

A cloture vote is scheduled for 10:30 AM, October 5, to end debate on Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The FBI delivered its report, without having interviewed Dr. Christine Blasey Ford or Kavanaugh, ahead of the October 5 deadline, and Senators were given an opportunity to review a single copy of the report.

ACS’s Vacancy Toolkit has more coverage and analysis on the Kavanaugh nomination.

September 28, 2018

The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on September 27, to hear testimony from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh regarding sexual assault allegations. The Committee is scheduled to hold an Executive Business Meeting to consider Kavanaugh’s nomination, despite lack of an FBI investigation into allegations.

As of September 28, there are 156 Article III vacancies, 131 of which are current. There are 75 nominees pending:  39 waiting for Senate floor votes and 9 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 27 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

ACS’s Vacancy Toolkit has more coverage and analysis on the Kavanaugh nomination.

September 21, 2018

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley has ignored calls for a non-partisan investigation of sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. Instead, Grassley scheduled a hearing for Monday, September 24, at which he intends to have Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh testify. Dr. Blasey Ford’s lawyer has just re-opened talks to consider the terms of the hearing.

As of September 21, there are 156 Article III vacancies, 130 of which are current. There are 75 nominees pending:  39 waiting for Senate floor votes and 9 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 27 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

September 13, 2018

September 13, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an Executive Business meeting to consider Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States along with 3 nominees to the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals and 17 nominees to the U.S. District Courts. Senator Grassley announced the Committee will vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination on September 20, at 1:45 PM, in defiance of Committee rules and requests from Democratic Senators for access to withheld documents. Ultimately, 11 nominees were reported out of Committee: Ryan Nelson (9th Cir., Idaho) in an 11-10 vote, Richard Sullivan (2d Cir., N.Y.) in a 17-4 vote, Gary Brown (E.D.N.Y.) in a 20-1 vote, Stephen Clark (E.D. Mo.) in an 11-10 vote, Diane Gujarati (E.D.N.Y.) in a 21-0 vote, Eric Komitee (E.D.N.Y.) in a 21-0 vote, Rachel Kovner (E.D.N.Y.) in a 21-0 vote, Lewis Liman (S.D.N.Y.) in a 17-4 vote, John Sinatra (W.D.N.Y.) a 16-5 vote, Mary Vyskocil (S.D.N.Y.) in a 21-0 vote, Joshua Wolson (E.D. Pa.) in an 18-3 vote.

Senator McConnell announced he intends to keep the Senate in session for the month of October to clear the decks of nominees to the lower courts.

As of September 14, there are 155 Article III vacancies, 129 of which are current. There are 75 nominees pending:  39 waiting for Senate floor votes and 7 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 29 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

September 7, 2018

Today is the fourth day of hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s (D.C. Cir.) nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States and will feature panels of witnesses. Documents formerly designated “committee confidential” released over the objection of Republican senators after the second day of hearings shed new light on Judge Kavanaugh’s views regarding reproductive rights, racial profiling, affirmative action, as well as possible misrepresentations he made in previous testimony before the committee. 

On September 6, the Senate voted to confirm eight nominees to the U.S. District Courts. The nominees were Alan Albright (W.D. Tex.), Kari Dooley (D. Conn.), Marilyn Horan (W.D. Pa.), William Jung (M.D. Fla.), Dominic Lanza (D. Ariz.), Robert Summerhays (W.D. La.), Eric Tostrud (D. Minn.), and C.J. Williams (N.D. Iowa). All of the nominees were confirmed in voice votes, except for Dominic Lanza, who was confirmed in a 60-35 vote, and C.J. Williams in a 79-12 vote.

As of September 7, there are 155 Article III vacancies, 129 of which are current. There are 74 nominees pending:  28 waiting for Senate floor votes and 18 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 29 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

August 31, 2018

The hearings on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s (D.C. Cir.) nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States will commence on September 4. ACS will be posting updates at the hearings progress.

On August 28, the Senate voted to confirm seven nominees to the U.S. District Courts with bipartisan support in an attempt to clear the judicial nominations docket before Labor Day. The nominees were Barry Ashe (E.D. La.), R. Stan Baker (S.D. Ga.), Susan Baxter (W.D. Pa.), Nancy Brasel (D. Minn.), Charles Goodwin (W.D. Okla.), Terry Moorer (S.D. Ala.), James Sweeney II (S.D. Ind.). All of the nominees were confirmed in voice votes, except for Charles Goodwin, who was confirmed in a 52-42 vote. Charles Goodwin is the sixth nominee to be confirmed this Congress with at least a partial Not Qualified rating from the American Bar Association Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary.

On August 28, the President nominated four individuals for vacancies in the federal courts: Bridge Bade (9th Cir., Ariz.), Allison Rushing (4th Cir., N.C.), J.P. Boulee (N.D. Ga.), and James Cain Jr. (W.D. La.).

As of August 30, there are 163 Article III vacancies, 134 of which are current. There are 83 nominees pending: 36 waiting for Senate floor votes and 18 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 29 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

August 23, 2018

In response to this week’s conviction of President Trump’s former campaign manager and the guilty plea of his former lawyer that directly implicated the President in criminal activity many Senators are calling for postponement of the hearing on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States.

On August 22, Majority Leader McConnell filed cloture on 12 nominees to the U.S. District Courts in an attempt to clear the judicial nominations docket before Labor Day with bipartisan support, thereby confirming even more Trump judges. The nominees are Alan Albright (W.D. Tex.), Barry Ashe (E.D. La.), R. Stan Baker (S.D. Ga.), Susan Baxter (W.D. Pa.), Charles Goodwin (W.D. Okla.), Marilyn Horan (W.D. Pa.), William Jung (M.D. Fla.), Dominic Lanza (D. Ariz.), Terry Moorer (S.D. Ala.), James Sweeney II (S.D. Ind.), Robert Summerhays (W.D. La.), and C.J. Williams (N.D. Iowa).

On August 22, The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on six nominees this week:  Jonathan Kobes (8th Cir., S.D.), Kenneth Bell (W.D.N.C.), Carl Nichols (D.D.C.), Martha Pacold (N.D. Ill.), Mary Rowland (N.D. Ill.), and Steven Seeger (N.D. Ill.).

As of August 23, there are 168 Article III vacancies, 141 of which are current. There are 86 nominees pending:  43 waiting for Senate floor votes and 18 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 25 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

August 17, 2018

In a further breakdown of norms, Senate Judiciary Chair Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) announced that the hearing to consider Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court will take place September 4-7, 2018, despite the lack of a full record from Judge Kavanaugh’s time in President George W. Bush’s Administration.

On August 16, the Senate confirmed A. Marvin Quattlebaum (4th Cir., S.C.) in a 62-28 vote and Julius Richardson (4th Cir., S.C.) in a 81-8 vote.

As of August 16, there are 168 Article III vacancies, 141 of which are current. There are 86 nominees pending:  43 waiting for Senate floor votes and 10 waiting to be reported out of Committee, and 33 waiting for Senate Judiciary Committee hearings.

ACS's Weekly Roundup of Judicial Nominations Activity