February 9, 2023

On The Bench: Week February 9, 2023

The Senate finally confirmed the first judicial nominee of this Congress: DeAndrea Benjamin (4th Cir.) in a 53-44 vote. Benjamin continues the trend under the Biden-Harris Administration of confirming women of color to the U.S. circuit courts. As of this writing, the Senate also invoked cloture on Cindy Chung (3d Cir.), setting up a potential confirmation vote as early as next week.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting. At the meeting, the Committee voted to advance 22 Article III nominees and revoted on 2 Article III nominees from the prior executive business meeting. The 24 Article III nominees were: Nancy Abudu (11th Cir.), Rachel Bloomekatz (6th Cir.), Anthony Johnstone (9th Cir.), Julie Rikelman (1st Cir.), Magistrate Judge Robert Ballou (W.D. Va.), Judge Todd Edelman (D.D.C.), Judge Colleen Lawless (C.D. Ill.), Justice Myong Joun (D. Mass.), Nusrat Choudhury (E.D.N.Y.), Natasha Merle (E.D.N.Y.), Jessica Clarke (S.D.N.Y.), Kymberly Evanson (W.D. Wash.), Magistrate Judge Gordon Gallagher (D. Colo.), Magistrate Judge Jonathan Grey (E.D. Mich.), P. Casey Pitts (N.D. Cal.), Magistrate Judge Ramon Reyes (E.D.N.Y.), Arun Subramanian (S.D.N.Y.), Dale Ho (S.D.N.Y.), Judge Hernán Vera (C.D. Cal.), Judge Kenly Kato (C.D. Cal.), Julia Kobick (D. Mass.), Judge Rita Lin (N.D. Cal.), Judge James Simmons Jr. (S.D. Cal.), and Magistrate Judge Andrew Schopler (S.D. Cal.). All 24 nominees are eligible for consideration from the full Senate.

Judge Joseph Greenway Jr. (3d Cir.) has announced his intention to retire this June. This is the thirteenth vacancy at the circuit court level.

As of February 9, there are 114 Article III vacancies, 87 of which are current. There are 51 pending nominees: 38 waiting for floor votes, 5 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 8 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 98 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.