Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial Nominations Update

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.  Judge Kavanaugh is on the agenda for the Committee’s executive business meeting this Thursday, September 13th but it is almost a certainty that the Democratic minority will request to hold Kavanaugh’s nomination over an additional week, setting up a vote to advance Kavanaugh out of Committee on Thursday, September 20th.

In the midst of the Kavanaugh hearing last week, the Senate voted to confirm eight district court nominees.  This followed the confirmations of seven other district court nominees on August 28th immediately before the Senate’s Labor Day recess.  All but three of the 15 uncontroversial district judges were confirmed via voice vote. This is another significant step by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in working to clear the backlog of nominees pending on the Senate Floor.  This latest tranche brings the total number of federal judges confirmed to date to 68.

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:  78

Supreme Court: 1

Courts of Appeals:  10

District/Specialty Courts:  67

* 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 152 No Not yet scheduled
Eric Murphy (6th) 6/18/2018 85 No Not yet scheduled
Chad Readler (6th) 6/18/2018 85 No Not yet scheduled
Eric Miller (9th) 7/19/2018 54 No Not yet scheduled
Bridget Shelton Bade (9th) 8/27/2018 15 No Not yet scheduled
Allison Jones Rushing (4th) 8/27/2018 15 Yes 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 119 7/11/2018
Richard Sullivan (2nd) 5/7/2018 127 8/1/2018
Jonathan Kobes (8th) 6/11/2018 92 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 152 7/19/2018

 Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes: 30

Courts of Appeals:  1

District/Specialty Courts:  29

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate: 68

Supreme Court: 1

Courts of Appeals: 26

District/Specialty Courts:  41

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

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