January 12, 2023

On The Bench: Week January 12, 2023

The Senate made no progress on judicial nominations this week, as the lengthy January recess is still underway. The Senate is set to return on January 23, and the expectation is that judicial nominations activity will resume then.

According to reports, Judge Paul Watford (9th Cir.) is set to resign on May 31. Judge Watford is resigning from the bench well before becoming eligible for senior status. This will be the fourteenth current or known future vacancy at the circuit court level. If all the nominees from the last Congress are renominated, this will be the fifth circuit court vacancy without an announced nominee.

As of January 12, there are 111 Article III vacancies, 85 of which are current. There are 28 pending nominees: 0 waiting for floor votes, 25 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 3 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 97 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.