Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial Nominations Update

As we enter the last full week of October, the number of federal judicial nominees awaiting a Senate floor vote has ballooned to fourteen. The last federal judge confirmed by the Senate was Ralph Erickson (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit) on September 28, 2017.

Meanwhile, the number of judicial vacancies continues to rise, reaching a total of 167 current and known future vacancies. Recognizing the growing logjam of nominees awaiting confirmation—with more likely to hit the Senate floor next week—yesterday eleven senators sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressing their support to work “24/7” to overcome “unprecedented obstruction” by the Democratic minority.

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

Number of total current and known future vacancies: 167

Courts of Appeals: 27

District/Specialty Court*: 140

Number of pending nominees for current and known future vacancies: 54

Courts of Appeals: 14

District/Specialty Courts: 40

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

Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes

Courts of Appeals: 2

District/Specialty Courts: 12

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate

Courts of Appeals: 4

District/Specialty Courts: 2

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

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