Bench Memos

NRO’s home for judicial news and analysis.

Courts of Appeals Vacancies


For those of you keeping score at home, here’s a list of courts of appeals vacancies.  It includes both existing and firmly anticipated vacancies.  By the latter, I mean seats filled by a judge who has declared his intention to take senior status or retire as of a certain date or upon confirmation of his successor.  There are also, of course, lots of other judges who are eligible to take senior status.  Because it matters politically, I also include the state to which senators generally imagine the seat to belong.


First Circuit:  1 (RI)

Second Circuit:  1 (NY:  Debra Livingston renominated)

Third Circuit:  3 (two in PA, with Thomas Hardiman renominated to one, and one in NJ)

Fourth Circuit:  5 (two in VA, one each in MD, NC, SC (though there’s some dispute about where the seats supposedly belong))

Fifth Circuit:  3 (two in TX and the one in MS to which Leslie Southwick has been nominated)

Sixth Circuit:  2 (both MI:  the seats to which Raymond Kethledge and Stephen Murphy will be renominated)

Ninth Circuit:  2 (the seat, disputed between ID and CA, to which Randy Smith has been renominated, and an ID seat)

DC Circuit:  2 (Peter Keisler renominated to one)


In sum, there are 19 vacancies.  Five of the vacancies have nominees; two have presumptive nominees; and the other twelve await nominees (though I wouldn’t expect a nomination to the D.C. Circuit’s twelfth spot any time soon)


Tags: Whelan


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