March 21, 2024

On The Bench: Week of March 21, 2024

The Senate made encouraging progress on judicial nominations this week. As of this writing, there have been 3 Article III confirmations: Nicole Berner (4th Cir.), Magistrate Judge Edward Kiel (D.N.J.), and Judge Eumi Lee (N.D. Cal.). Berner becomes the first openly LGBTQ person to ever serve on the Fourth Circuit and Magistrate Judge Kiel is the first Asian-American to ever serve on the District of New Jersey.

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for 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.). All five are now eligible for a committee vote. If confirmed, Judge Maldonado would be the first ever Latinx person to serve on the Seventh Circuit.

Also this week, the White House announced the latest slate of judicial nominees. The slate contained 5 Article III nominees: Kevin Ritz (6th Cir.), Brian Murphy (D. Mass.), Judge Rebecca Pennell (E.D. Wash.), Detra Shaw-Wilder (S.D. Fla.), and Jeannette Vargas (S.D.N.Y.).

As of March 21, there are 75 Article III vacancies, 46 of which are current. Once the latest nominees are officially nominated, there will be 25 pending nominees: 10 waiting for floor votes, 9 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 6 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 188 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.