Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial-Nominations Update

President Donald Trump in Pittsburgh, Pa., October 23, 2019 (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held nomination hearings on two of President Trump’s nominees to the Ninth Circuit, Lawrence VanDyke and Patrick Bumatay. The Ninth Circuit continues to be transformed: Assuming VanDyke and Bumatay are confirmed, President Trump will have appointed 13 of the 29 active judges on that court.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has filed for cloture (to end debate) on five more of President Trump’s judicial nominees, including Danielle Hunsaker and William Nardini, both nominated to the Second Circuit. This procedural move by McConnell sets up confirmation for all five nominees later this week or next.

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

 Current and known future vacancies: 122

Courts of Appeals:  9

District/Specialty Courts*: 113

Pending nominees for current and known future vacancies:  55

Courts of Appeals: 8

District/Specialty Courts*:  47

Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings

Nominee (Circuit) Original Nomination


Days Since Original Nomination Both Blue Slips Returned? Judiciary Committee Hearing Date

Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Judiciary Committee Votes

Nominee (Circuit) Original Nomination Date Days Since Original Nomination Judiciary Committee Hearing Date
Halil Suleyman “Sul” Ozerden (5th) 6/24/19 133 7/17/19
Steven Menashi (2nd) 9/9/19 56 9/11/19
Barbara Lagoa (11th) 10/15/19


15 10/16/19
Robert Luck (11th) 10/15/19


15 10/16/19
Lawrence VanDyke (9th) 10/15/19 15 10/30/19
Patrick Bumatay (9th) 10/15/19 15 10/30/19

 Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Floor Votes

Nominee (Circuit) Nomination Date Days Since Original Nomination Date Reported to Senate Floor
Danielle Hunsaker (9th) 9/19/19 46 10/24/19
William Nardini (2nd) 9/19/19 46 10/24/19

 Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes: 26

Courts of Appeals: 2

District/Specialty Courts*: 28

Days Pending

  • # of pending nominees originally nominated > 500 days ago: 6
  • # of pending nominees originally nominated > 400 days ago: 6
  • # of pending nominees originally nominated > 300 days ago: 12

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate during the 116th Congress: 74

Supreme Court: 0

Courts of Appeals: 13

District/Specialty Courts*: 61

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate since Inauguration Day: 159

Supreme Court: 2

Courts of Appeals: 43

District/Specialty Courts*: 114

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

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

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