Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial Nominations Update

Next Tuesday, confirmation hearings will begin for Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.  The hearings are expected to run until next Friday.

Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is adhering to his promise to keep the Senate working this August. Last week, McConnell warned that the Senate would stay in session until another twelve judicial nominees and four executive branch nominees are confirmed.  McConnell said, “No more obstruction, no more delays. It’s time to confirm them all.”

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is also continuing to process nominees, holding a hearing last week for Eighth Circuit nominee Jonathan Kobes.

I applaud both Leader McConnell and Chairman Grassley for putting the Democrat senators’ feet to the fire as they persist with their unprecedented obstruction efforts.

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

Current and known future vacancies:  179

Supreme Court:  1

Courts of Appeals:  18

District/Specialty Courts*: 160

Pending nominees for current and known future vacancies:  89

Supreme Court: 1

Courts of Appeals:  8

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 137 No Not yet scheduled
Eric Murphy (6th) 6/18/2018 70 No Not yet scheduled
Chad Readler (6th) 6/18/2018 70 No Not yet scheduled
Eric Miller (9th) 7/19/2018 39 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 104 7/11/2018
Richard Sullivan (2nd) 5/7/2018 112 8/1/2018
Jonathan Kobes (8th) 6/11/2018 77 8/22/2018

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 137 7/19/2018

 Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes: 45

Courts of Appeals:  1

District/Specialty Courts:  44

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate: 53

Supreme Court: 1

Courts of Appeals: 26

District/Specialty Courts:  26

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

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