November 2, 2023

On The Bench: Week of November 2, 2023

With the Senate primarily focused on appropriations and military promotions, little progress was made on judicial nominations this week. As of this writing, the Senate confirmed only 1 Article III nominee: Magistrate Judge Matthew Maddox (D. Md.) in a 55-42 vote.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting where it was unable to advance any judicial nominees out of committee. The Committee was set to vote on Judge Eumi Lee (N.D. Cal.) and Magistrate Judge Mustafa Kasubhai (D. Or.), but due to prolonged speeches from the Republican members of the committee and later attendance issues the votes were unable to occur.

Also this week, the White House announced the next slate of judicial nominees. The slate had 5 Article III nominees: Magistrate Judge Jacquelyn Austin (D.S.C.), Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Becerra (S.D. Fla.), Magistrate Judge Melissa Damian (S.D. Fla.), David Leibowitz (S.D. Fla.), and Magistrate Judge Julie Sneed (M.D. Fla.). This slate continues this administration’s goal of diversifying the federal bench, as a majority of the new nominees are women of color.

As of November 2, there are 98 Article III vacancies, 68 of which are current. Once the remaining nominees are officially nominated, there will be 40 pending nominees: 25 waiting for floor votes, 5 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 10 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 148 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.