January 26, 2024

On The Bench: Week of January 26, 2024

The Senate made encouraging progress on judicial nominations this week. As of this writing, the Senate confirmed 3 Article III nominees: Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn Austin (D.S.C.), Judge Cristal Brisco (N.D. Ind.), and Judge Gretchen Lund (N.D. Ind.). The Senate also invoked cloture on Magistrate Judge Joshua Kolar (7th Cir.) and Kirk Sherriff (E.D. Cal.), setting up potential confirmation votes. Once the Senate confirms this group of nominees, there will still be 15 nominees waiting on the Senate floor.

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for 5 Article III nominees: Judge Ann Marie McIff Allen (D. Utah), Magistrate Judge Susan Bazis (D. Neb.), Ernest Gonzalez (W.D. Tex.), Magistrate Judge Kelly Rankin (D. Wyo.), and Magistrate Judge Leon Schydlower (W.D. Tex.). All the nominees are now eligible for a committee vote.

As of January 25, there are 88 Article III vacancies, 58 of which are current. Once the announced nominees are officially nominated, then there will be 28 pending nominees: 17 waiting for floor votes, 5 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 6 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 171 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.