November 29, 2023

On The Bench: Week of November 29, 2023

The Senate made encouraging progress on judicial nominations this week. Over the course of the week, the Senate confirmed 5 Article III nominees: Judge Jeffrey Bryan (D. Minn.), Margaret Garnett (S.D.N.Y.), Micah Smith (D. Haw.), Judge Shanlyn Park (D. Haw.), and Jamel Semper (D.N.J.). The Senate also invoked cloture on Judge Irma Ramirez (5th Cir.), setting up a potential confirmation vote next week.

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing for 6 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.), Magistrate Judge Julie Sneed (M.D. Fla.), and Kirk Sherriff (E.D. Cal.). All 6 nominees are now eligible for a full committee vote.

On Thursday, the Committee also held an executive business meeting where it advanced 5 Article III nominees to the Senate floor: Judge Eumi Lee (N.D. Cal.), Magistrate Judge Mustafa Kasubhai (D. Or.), Seth Aframe (1st Cir.), Magistrate Judge Edward Kiel (D.N.J.), and Sarah Russell (D. Conn.).

As of November 30, there are 93 Article III vacancies, 63 of which are current. There are 34 pending nominees: 19 waiting for floor votes, 8 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 7 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 159 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.

In other judiciary news, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted on Thursday to authorize subpoenas relating to the ongoing Supreme Courts ethics issue. The Committee voted to issue two subpoenas to Harlan Crow and Leonard Leo.