Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial Nominations Update

It’s been a busy week for judicial nominations. On Wednesday, the Senate voted to confirm Kurt Engelhardt, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, by a margin of 62-34.  And on Thursday, the Senate confirmed Michael Brennan, President Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, by a party-line vote of 49-46.

Next week the Senate will vote on four additional circuit court nominees:  Joel Carson, John Nalbandian, Michael Scudder, and Amy St. Eve.  For Carson (Tenth Circuit) and Nalbandian (Sixth Circuit), Leader McConnell negotiated a unanimous consent agreement that allows their post-cloture debate time to run concurrently.  As for for Scudder and St. Eve (Seventh Circuit), this will mark only the second and third times, respectively, that Senate Democrats are not invoking cloture for judicial nominees since Inauguration Day.

The pressure for Gridlock Reform seems to be working, and I commend Leader McConnell for scheduling votes for President Trump’s excellent court of appeals nominees.

Here is this week’s update on federal judicial nominations, which includes yesterday’s fourteenth wave of nominations:

Current and known future vacancies:  180

Courts of Appeals:  25

District/Specialty Courts*:  155

Pending nominees for current and known future vacancies:  89

Courts of Appeals:  14

District/Specialty Courts:  75

* 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
Britt Grant (11th) 4/12/2018 29 Yes Not yet scheduled
David Porter (3rd) 4/12/2018 29 No Not yet scheduled
Paul Matey (3rd) 4/12/2018 29 No Not yet scheduled
Richard Sullivan (2nd) 5/7/2018 4 No Not yet scheduled
Jay Richardson (4th) 5/7/2018 4 Yes Not yet scheduled
Marvin Quattlebaum (4th) 5/7/2018 4 Yes Not yet scheduled
Ryan Nelson (9th) 5/10/2018 1 No Not yet scheduled

 

Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Judiciary Committee Votes

Nominee (Circuit) Nomination Date Days Pending Judiciary Committee Hearing Date
Andrew Oldham (5th) 2/15/2018 85 4/25/2018
Ryan Bounds (9th) 9/7/2017 246 5/9/2018

 

Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Floor Votes

Nominee (Circuit) Nomination Date Days Pending Date Reported to Senate Floor
Joel Carson (10th) 12/20/2017 142 3/15/2018
John Nalbandian (6th) 1/24/2018 107 4/19/2018
Amy St. Eve (7th) 2/15/2018 85 4/19/2018
Michael Scudder (7th) 2/15/2018 85 4/19/2018
Mark Bennett (9th) 2/15/2018 85 5/10/2018

 

Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes: 38

Courts of Appeals: 5

District/Specialty Courts:  33

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate:  35

Supreme Court: 1

Courts of Appeals: 17

District/Specialty Courts:  17

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