September 22, 2022

On The Bench: Week of September 19, 2022

Over the last few weeks, the Senate has continued to make progress on judicial nominations. Since September 9, the Senate has confirmed four Article III nominees: Judge Salvador Mendoza, Jr. (9th Cir.) in a 46-40 vote; Judge Sarah Merriam (2d Cir.) 53-44 vote, Lara Montecalvo (1st Cir.) in a 52-47 vote, and Judge Florence Pan (D.C. Cir.) in a 52-42 vote. This continues the recent uptick in circuit court confirmations. As of September 22, the Senate has confirmed 24 circuit court nominees. In the first two full years of the Trump Administration, there were 30 circuit court confirmations. There are still thirteen circuit court nominees pending in throughout the confirmation process.

Last Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee held an executive business meeting for five Article III nominees: Magistrate Judge Dana Douglas (5th Cir.), Bradley Garcia (D.C. Cir.), Jerry Blackwell (D. Minn.), Judge Frances Kay Behm (E.D. Mich.), and Anne Nardacci (N.D.N.Y.). All five received a majority vote and are now eligible for cloture and confirmation votes.

On Wednesday, the Committee held a hearing for six Article III nominees: Julie Rikelman (1st Cir.), Justice Maria Kahn (2d Cir.), Judge Margaret Guzman (D. Mass.), Jamal Whitehead (W.D. Wash.), Jamar Walker (E.D. Va.), and Araceli Martinez-Olguin (N.D. Cal.). All six nominees are eligible for a full committee vote.

On Thursday, the Committee held another executive business meeting for six Article III nominees: Justice Tamika Montgomery-Reeves (3d Cir.), Cindy Chung (3d Cir.), Kelley Hodge (E.D. Pa.), John Murphy (E.D. Pa.), Judge Mia Perez (E.D. Pa.), and Judge Kai Scott (E.D. Pa.). As is customary for the first time nominees are listed, all six nominees were held over. The nominees will now likely receive a full committee vote next week.

As of September 22, there are 114 Article III vacancies, 82 of which are current. Once all the judicial candidates are