January 26, 2023

On The Bench: Week January 26, 2023

Earlier this week, the White House published the latest list of judicial renominations. The slate included nearly every nominee who was still pending at the end of the last Congress. Two nominees were not renominated: Judge William Pocan (E.D. Wis.) and Jabari Wamble (10th Cir.). In speaking with the press, the White House indicated that, while it will not be renominating Pocan at this time, it does expect to renominate Wamble at a later date.

The Senate Judiciary Committee resumed judicial nominations activity this week. On Wednesday, the Committee held the first hearing of the new Congress. The hearing had five Article III nominees: Charnelle Bjelkengren (E.D. Wash.), Orelia Merchant (E.D.N.Y.), Magistrate Judge Matthew Brookman (S.D. Ind.), Michael Farbiarz (D.N.J.), and Judge Robert Kirsch (D.N.J.). All five nominees are now eligible for a committee vote.

On Thursday, the Committee held the first executive business meeting of the session. The Committee held over 25 Article III nominees who had been renominated by the White House. These nominees could receive a committee vote as soon as next Thursday.

Judge William Orrick III (N.D. Cal.) has announced his intention to take senior status this May. This is the fourth vacancy on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

As of January 26, there are 113 Article III vacancies, 85 of which are current. There are 48 pending nominees: 0 waiting for floor votes, 44 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 4 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 97 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.