Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial Nominations Update

Last week the Senate confirmed Britt Grant to the Eleventh Circuit.  Judge Grant is the 24th federal circuit court judge confirmed during President Trump’s administration—yet another new record for President Trump.

Additionally, before adjourning for an abbreviated summer recess, the Senate confirmed six district judges by voice vote. Confirming uncontroversial judges by voice vote was a common practice in previous administrations.  But prior to last week, only two federal judges had been confirmed by voice vote since Inauguration Day thanks to the unprecedented obstruction of Senate Democrats, who have been requiring time-consuming cloture votes for all judicial nominees.  Also notable is the fact that of the seven judges confirmed last week, five were women.

And after the Senate returns from recess next Wednesday, the confirmations will continue.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell last week filed cloture motions (to end debate) on the nominations of Marvin Quattlebaum and Jay Richardson, nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  Their confirmation votes likely will occur the week of August 20th, following post-cloture debate.

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

Current and known future vacancies:  181

Supreme Court:  1

Courts of Appeals:  20

District/Specialty Courts*: 160

Pending nominees for current and known future vacancies:  91

Courts of Appeals:  11

District/Specialty Courts:  80

* 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
Paul Matey (3rd) 4/12/2018 119 No Not yet scheduled
Jonathan Kobes (8th) 6/11/2018 59 Yes Not yet scheduled
Eric Murphy (6th) 6/18/2018 52 No Not yet scheduled
Chad Readler (6th) 6/18/2018 52 No Not yet scheduled
Eric Miller (9th) 7/19/2018 21 No Not yet scheduled

Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Judiciary Committee Votes

Nominee (Circuit) Nomination Date Days Pending Judiciary Committee Hearing Date
Ryan Nelson (9th) 5/15/2018 86 7/11/2018
Richard Sullivan (2nd) 5/7/2018 94 8/1/2018

 Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Floor Votes

Nominee (Circuit) Nomination Date Days Pending Date Reported to Senate Floor
David Porter (3rd) 4/12/2018 119 7/19/2018
Jay Richardson (4th) 5/7/2018 94 7/19/2018
Marvin Quattlebaum (4th) 5/7/2018 94 7/19/2018

 Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes: 47

Courts of Appeals:  3

District/Specialty Courts:  44

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate: 51

Supreme Court: 1

Courts of Appeals: 24

District/Specialty Courts:  26

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

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