February 22, 2024

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.