October 26, 2023

On The Bench: Week of October 26, 2023

Due to a number of complicating factors facing the Senate, the Senate made virtually no progress on judicial nominations this week. As of this writing, the Senate has not confirmed any Article III nominees. After Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee meeting, there are now 26 Article III nominees on the Senate floor awaiting cloture and confirmation votes.

The current administration is behind its predecessor in terms of the number of Article III confirmations, and risks falling behind further. The Biden-Harris Administration is at 147 Article III confirmations as of the morning of October 26. The Trump Administration was at 157 Article III confirmations through October 2019, and 187 Article III confirmations through the third year of the administration.

On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting where it advanced 4 Article III nominees to the floor: Magistrate Judge John Kazen (S.D. Tex.), Micah Smith (D. Haw.), Judge Shanlyn Park (D. Haw.), and Jamel Semper (D.N.J.). These nominees add to the growing backlog on the Senate floor.

As of October 26, there are 95 Article III vacancies, 67 of which are current. Once the remaining nominee is officially nominated, there will be 36 pending nominees: 26 waiting for floor votes, 2 waiting to be reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and 8 waiting for hearings before the Committee. To date, 147 Article III judges have been confirmed during the Biden-Harris Administration.