Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial Nominations Update

Though 2017 saw a record number of federal circuit court judges confirmed during a President’s first year in office, the number of judicial vacancies nevertheless continues to steadily rise; the total number of current and known future vacancies jumped to 172 over the Christmas recess. And the Democratic minority continues to require cloture votes for every judicial nominee: last week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed cloture motions for four district court nominees. The four nominees are expected to receive confirmation votes this week.

Since my last update, the number of nominees awaiting Senate floor votes has dropped from 24 to 12 as a result of 26 judicial nominations being returned to the White House at the end of the Congressional session in December. Nearly all of these nominees are expected to be re-nominated and will require another Senate Judiciary Committee vote to be moved back to the Senate floor but not another hearing.

Here is this week’s full update on federal judicial nominations.

Number of current and known future vacancies: 172

Courts of Appeals: 23

District/Specialty Courts*: 149

Number of pending nominees for current and known future vacancies: 27

Courts of Appeals: 1

District/Specialty Courts: 26

* Includes the Court of Federal Claims and the International Trade Court

Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes: 12

Courts of Appeals: 0

District/Specialty Courts: 12

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate: 19

Supreme Court: 1

Courts of Appeals: 12

District/Specialty Courts: 6

Most Popular

Media

‘Anonymous’ Falls Flat

On the menu today: The op-ed page of the New York Times made the deliberate decision to hoodwink America about the identity of “Anonymous”; the sense of guilt that pervades legacy media -- a very apt label; and wondering whether or not we will even see long lines on Election Day with early voting being so ... Read More
Media

‘Anonymous’ Falls Flat

On the menu today: The op-ed page of the New York Times made the deliberate decision to hoodwink America about the identity of “Anonymous”; the sense of guilt that pervades legacy media -- a very apt label; and wondering whether or not we will even see long lines on Election Day with early voting being so ... Read More

Another Pollster Sees a Trump Win

The Trafalgar Group’s Robert Cahaly is an outlier among pollsters in that he thinks President Trump will carry Michigan, Pennsylvania, or both, and hence be reelected with roughly 280 electoral votes. (I explained his thinking here.) Last week another pollster, Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research, ... Read More

Another Pollster Sees a Trump Win

The Trafalgar Group’s Robert Cahaly is an outlier among pollsters in that he thinks President Trump will carry Michigan, Pennsylvania, or both, and hence be reelected with roughly 280 electoral votes. (I explained his thinking here.) Last week another pollster, Jim Lee of Susquehanna Polling and Research, ... Read More
Economy & Business

Daylight Savings Forever

Before I became a parent, I didn't have especially strong feelings about the time shifting by an hour twice a year. Like most people I was aware of the downsides -- increased car accidents, schedule confusion, etc. -- and I figured it would be better to knock it off. But I didn't feel personally offended by ... Read More
Economy & Business

Daylight Savings Forever

Before I became a parent, I didn't have especially strong feelings about the time shifting by an hour twice a year. Like most people I was aware of the downsides -- increased car accidents, schedule confusion, etc. -- and I figured it would be better to knock it off. But I didn't feel personally offended by ... Read More

Hunter Biden on Tape?

In a newly released recording, a man purported to be Hunter Biden is heard rambling about (a) his legal representation of Patrick Ho, a convicted former Hong Kong official he refers to as “the f***ing spy chief of China”; (b) his business dealings with Ye Jianming, the corrupt Chinese high roller, whom Hunter ... Read More

Hunter Biden on Tape?

In a newly released recording, a man purported to be Hunter Biden is heard rambling about (a) his legal representation of Patrick Ho, a convicted former Hong Kong official he refers to as “the f***ing spy chief of China”; (b) his business dealings with Ye Jianming, the corrupt Chinese high roller, whom Hunter ... Read More