Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Judicial-Nominations Update

A gavel sits on the chairman’s dais in the U.S. House Judiciary Committee hearing room on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 14, 2019 (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Last week, the Senate confirmed two more of President Trump’s court of appeals nominees, Danielle Hunsaker (Ninth Circuit) and William Nardini (Second Circuit). This brought the number of federal appellate court judges confirmed since Inauguration Day to 45 — yet another new record for President Trump.

Also last week, President Trump announced his intent to elevate Andrew Brasher to the Eleventh Circuit. Brasher is currently a district judge in the Middle District of Alabama who was nominated to that seat by President Trump, and confirmed by the Senate earlier this year. Brasher joins two other excellent nominees to the Eleventh Circuit who are awaiting Senate floor votes, Barbara Lagoa, and Robert Luck. If confirmed, these would be President Trump’s fourth, fifth, and sixth appointees to the Eleventh Circuit, respectively — an incredible transformation of that court.

Finally, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell filed for cloture (to end debate) on Steven Menashi’s nomination. After months of smears, it’s high time for Mr. Menashi to receive a Senate floor vote, which could come as soon as tomorrow. Assuming he is confirmed, the Second Circuit would flip from majority Democrat-appointed active judges to majority Republican-appointed active judges.

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

Current and known future vacancies: 117

Courts of Appeals:  7

District/Specialty Courts*: 110

Pending nominees for current and known future vacancies:  50

Courts of Appeals: 6

District/Specialty Courts*:  44

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
Andrew Brasher† Pending N/A N/A Not Yet Scheduled

The President announced his intent to nominate Andrew Brasher on November 6, 2019. His nomination has not yet been formally received by the Senate.

 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) 6/24/19 142 7/17/19
Lawrence VanDyke (9th) 10/15/19 29 10/30/19
Patrick Bumatay (9th) 10/15/19 29 10/30/19

 Court of Appeals Nominees Awaiting Senate Floor Votes

Nominee (Circuit) Nomination Date Days Since Original Nomination Date Reported to Senate Floor
Steven Menashi (2nd) 9/9/19 65 11/7/19
Barbara Lagoa (11th) 10/15/19

 

29 11/7/19
Robert Luck (11th) 10/15/19

 

29 11/7/19

 Nominees Awaiting Floor Votes: 29

Courts of Appeals: 3

District/Specialty Courts*: 26

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: 11

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate during the 116th Congress: 79

Supreme Court: 0

Courts of Appeals: 15

District/Specialty Courts*: 64

Nominees Confirmed by the Senate since Inauguration Day: 164

Supreme Court: 2

Courts of Appeals: 45

District/Specialty Courts*: 117

* 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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