Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial Nominations Update

Judicial Nominations Update

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced that he intends to hold a hearing tomorrow morning for Michael Brennan, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Last November, Chairman Grassley made it clear through a series of floor speeches and op-eds that he won’t allow Senators to use the blue slip courtesy as a tool to obstruct the nominations process for political or ideological reasons, stating then: “A senator can’t use a blue slip to block a nominee because it’s not the person the senator would’ve picked. The president gets to nominate judges.”

Additionally, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell held cloture and confirmation votes for four of President Trump’s federal district court nominees during the week of January 8th, bringing the total number of federal judges confirmed during his administration to 23. The Senate Minority continues to persist in requiring cloture votes for each and every judicial nominee, reaching new heights in its obstructionist efforts.

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

Number of current and known future vacancies: 172

Courts of Appeals: 24

District/Specialty Courts*: 148

Number of pending nominees for current and known future vacancies: 44

Courts of Appeals: 4

District/Specialty Courts: 40

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

Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes: 25

Courts of Appeals: 3

District/Specialty Courts: 22

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate: 23

Supreme Court: 1

Courts of Appeals: 12

District/Specialty Courts: 10

Carrie Severino — Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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