Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial-Nominations Update

After a series of procedural votes last week, the Senate moved to limit post-cloture debate time for district court nominees, federal-claims court nominees, and certain sub-Cabinet executive nominees to two hours. Following that change, the Senate voted to confirmed Roy Altman — the first district judge confirmed during the 116th Congress.

Also last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell filed for cloture to end debate on the nominations of four additional district court nominees, including Patrick Wyrick. Wyrick is a member of President Trump’s list of potential Supreme Court nominees. Confirmation votes for all four district-court nominees are expected this week as Leader McConnell begins to break the log jam of pending lower court nominees.

Here is a full update on the status of President Trump’s federal judicial nominations:

Current and known future vacancies:  166

Courts of Appeals:  9

District/Specialty Courts*: 157

Pending nominees for current and known future vacancies:  68

Courts of Appeals: 5

District/Specialty Courts*:  63

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

Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings

Nominee (Circuit) Original Nomination Date Days Since Original Nomination Both Blue Slips Returned? Judiciary Committee Hearing Date
Dan Bress (9th) 2/6/2019 62 No Not yet scheduled

Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Judiciary Committee Votes  

Nominee (Circuit) Original Nomination Date Days Since Original Nomination Judiciary Committee Hearing Date

 Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Floor Votes

Nominee (Circuit) Nomination Date Days Since Original Nomination Date Reported to Senate Floor
Joseph Bianco (2nd) 11/13/2018 147 3/7/2019
Michael Park (2nd) 11/13/2018 147 3/7/2019
Dan Collins (9th) 11/13/2018 147 4/4/2019
Ken Lee (9th) 11/13/2018 147 4/4/2019 

Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes:47

Courts of Appeals: 4

District/Specialty Courts: 43

Days Pending

  • # of pending nominees originally nominated > 500 days ago: 4
  • # of pending nominees originally nominated > 400 days ago: 7
  • # of pending nominees originally nominated > 300 days ago: 30

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate during the 116th Congress: 8

Supreme Court: 0

Courts of Appeals: 7

District/Specialty Courts: 1

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate since Inauguration Day: 93

Supreme Court: 2

Courts of Appeals: 37

District/Specialty Courts: 54

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

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