Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial Nominations Update

As Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell promised last week, on Tuesday the Senate voted to confirm Elizabeth Branch, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Judge Branch is the 14th of President Trump’s court of appeals nominees confirmed to date. Prior to her confirmation vote, Leader Mitch McConnell praised Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley’s leadership of the committee, stating: “Confirming this worthy nominee will be a further credit to the outstanding work of Chairman Grassley and the members of the committee.”

Additionally, the Senate voted today to confirm another district-court nominee and held cloture votes for three other of President Trump’s pending district-court nominees. Their confirmation votes are anticipated to occur on Monday afternoon.

In his floor remarks, Leader McConnell urged the Senate to “fulfill its constitutional responsibility and confirm the president’s outstanding judicial nominees.” This latest wave of confirmation votes is a positive step toward accomplishing that task.

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

Current and known future vacancies: 180

Courts of Appeals: 25

District/Specialty Courts*: 155

Pending nominees for current and known future vacancies: 60

Courts of Appeals: 10

District/Specialty Courts: 50

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

Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings

Nominee (Circuit) Nomination Date Days Pending Both Blue Slips Returned? Judiciary Committee Hearing Date
Ryan Bounds (9th) 9/7/2017 176 No Not yet scheduled
John Nalbandian (6th) 1/24/2018 37 No Not yet scheduled
Andrew Oldham (5th) 2/15/2018 15 No Not yet scheduled
Michael Scudder (7th) 2/15/2018 15 No Not yet scheduled
Amy St. Eve (7th) 2/15/2018 15 No Not yet scheduled
Mark Bennett (9th) 2/15/2018 15 No Not yet scheduled

Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Judiciary Committee Votes

Nominee (Circuit) Nomination Date Days Pending Judiciary Committee Hearing Date
Joel Carson (10th) 12/20/2017 72 2/14/2018

 Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Floor Votes

Nominee (Circuit) Nomination Date Days Pending Date Reported out of Senate Judiciary Committee
Kyle Duncan (5th) 10/2/2017 151 1/18/2018
Kurt Engelhardt (5th) 10/5/2017 148 2/8/2018
Michael Brennan (7th) 8/3/2017 211 2/15/2018

Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes: 31

Courts of Appeals: 3

District/Specialty Courts: 28

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate: 26

 Supreme Court: 1

Courts of Appeals: 14

District/Specialty Courts: 11

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

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